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Monthly Archive for December, 2012

Pets and Memories

The story “Dog Heaven” by Stephanie Vaughn is about a moment in a girl’s life when her family is stationed in Fort Niagara.  What I love about this story is the fact that there are so many elements to it.  The story is called dog heaven, so obviously the dog plays a role of importance, […]

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Megan Mayhew Bergman’s “The Artificial Heart” is quite different from the other stories in Bergman’s collection commonly do. Instead of using a contemporary setting, this story is set in the future and focuses on apocalyptic events that a woman is witnessing as she also watches her father deteriorate. This focus on the relationship between the […]

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The Scarlet Hour (REVISED)

It’s been awhile, I think, lighting a cigarette, And the smoke feels foreign to me—an unnatural, dense cloud travelling down my throat and into my lungs, but I won’t put it down. My hands might shake. I look out from my balcony to the billboard down the street: Keep the merry, dump the myth! American […]

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It Takes a Dog to Track a Dog

  It Takes a Dog to Track a Dog Angelic Yousef  I walk the nine blocks from my office in downtown Manhattan to my apartment. I want to surprise my wife with lunch. I bought her favorite, pasta royal. The city is full of noises and filth. The city streets are filled with shards of […]

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Breaking Point

Take the leaves from the street, where she stood next to me, and scatter them under my bed. Take her bracelets and her rings, and her other precious things and bury them in the place that we met.  -The Lesser Birds of Paradise, “Take The Leaves” Bergman’s story “Night Hunting” focuses on the feeling of […]

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Secrets

Like all of Butler’s other stories in A Good Scent From A Strange Mountain, “Mid-Autumn” focuses on the struggles of being Vietnamese American.  I really enjoyed this story because it allowed the reader to connect with the first person narrator at the very beginning.  The opening sentence makes the reader feel like they are being […]

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Salem

“He trimmed the photo to fit in the cellophane around a pack of cigarettes and I understand things with a rush: he placed her there so that every time his unit stopped and sat sweating and afraid by a jungle stream and he took out his cigarettes to smoke, she would be there to smile […]

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“Missing”

The voice in Butler’s “Missing” is unique when compared to the rest of the stories in his collection because it is that of an American man who became acclimated to Vietnamese culture. In all of the previous stories we have read in Butler’s A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain, the narrators have been Vietnamese […]

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“I looked at Poppy the way I would look at my own heart- with confusion and gratitude. There were days when I burped her too hard, prayed for her to fall asleep. There were nights I couldn’t put her down, her fresh face burrowed into my body, hand around my finger. Mommy’s here, I said, […]

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Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of the wonderful story collection Birds of a Lesser Paradise, generously agreed to answer a few questions devised by the students in this class. Q: To what extent is your work autobiographical — not necessarily literally autobiographical, but informed by the particular circumstances of your life, no matter how those circumstances might […]

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