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Category Archive for 'Birds of a Lesser Paradise'

Sacrifice

The story “The Two-Thousand-Dollar Sock” was a story that really focused on loss and on finding happiness when things become different from what one originally expects.  One aspect of this story that I really liked was the focus on physical descriptions, specifically bodies.  The narrator’s husband is a wrestler, and she spends a significant portion […]

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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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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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“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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This story was very different from what I expected. After reading the first page, I thought the story would have a much more narrow focus on the family relationships and the dog’s impact on the family. I expected to experience deciding not to save a beloved pet or conflict between the narrator and Russ over […]

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“Night Hunting”

Megan Bergman’s “Night Hunting” features a young woman trying to cope with her mother’s terminal cancer, similarly resonating with the melancholic tone the narrator often possesses in each of Bergman’s short stories featured in the Birds of a Lesser Paradise collection. This story, however, failed to keep my attention as efficiently as her other pieces, […]

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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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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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