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Monthly Archive for November, 2012

“Preparation”

I liked this story, but not as much as I liked “Crickets.” Like “Crickets,” “Preparation” seemed tidy and predictable. The narrator is always overshadowed by her friend, a girl who never knows of the narrator’s jealousy or feeling of inferiority. The beautiful friend gets the mutual love interest and seems happy to the last. After […]

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Megan Mayhew Bergman’s “The Two-Thousand-Dollar Sock” is rich with the emotional complexity harvested from a dynamic familial relationship. The narrator and her husband Russ are impoverished; “[they] sleep on a borrowed bed and linens from [their] grandmothers.” Money doesn’t seem so important when you are young and in love with the world at your feet. […]

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The Artificial Heart

I draped the towel over his bony shoulders and pulled the ends together across his chest, where I could feel his artificial heart thumping like a piston, impossible to stop, impossible to break. Bergman’s “The Artificial Heart” reveals the emotions associated with caring for your parents after their minds have failed to keep up with […]

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Butler’s “Preparation”

This story stood out to me much more than Butler’s other stories in the collection. I felt that it was much more warm and inviting, which is probably due to the more natural narration. The narrator has clearly picked up English and is able to use it fluently. The language still keeps the Vietnamese culture […]

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Butler, “Preparation”

“Preparation” is about a woman’s jealousy over the beauty of her friend. A simple enough reason, yet Butler richly describes the deep- seeded emotions of the main character through the mirror of death. I think this story is cleverly written. Instead of it being sad, because her friend dies, it’s really about a woman who […]

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Relic

In Butler’s “Relic,” the narrator is a man who struggles to find an identity in a country that is foreign to, and cherished by him.  When reading, I found it difficult to relate to this man simply because of his inherent lack of emotion.  When he mentions his family being back in Vietnam is when […]

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Bergman surprised me with her story “Artificial Heart.”  Unlike the rest of her stories, this one took place in the future and involved a father and son.  The father’s artificial heart had caused his body to outlive his mind.  The son allows his father to meet a woman online and fall in love, even though he […]

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In this story, Bergman keeps readers’ attention on the relationship between the narrator and her father by limiting her discussion of the environmental catastrophe of the story’s world to what is happening with the ocean. It makes sense for the condition of the ocean to figure largely in the characters’ lives because they live on […]

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June

I wasn’t in class on Tuesday, and I should have posted this last week, but I wanted to say it anyway. In “June,” McCracken did what we have been trying to do in our stories – write about something without it feeling familiar. It would have been so easy for her to say: here’s this […]

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Here is a link to a short interview with Bergman. Her response to the first question was very helpful for me. It allowed me to understand her stories better. She also speaks a little bit about her writing process and influences. http://www.kenyonreview.org/conversation/megan-mayhew-bergman/

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