My review of Roxane Gay's short story collection, Ayiti, is up at PopMatters. There's something subversively bullish about a debut short story collection that's first published by a small indie press mostly unknown to the larger reading and publishing world and then, when the writer goes on to prove her chops in various genres, is re-published by a larger publishing house. Same book (with just a few changes), same writer. Which only goes to show how unreliable and short-sighted the many tastemakers and gatekeepers of the publishing industry can be.
My review of Tatyana Tolstaya's striking new short story collection, Aetherial Worlds, out earlier this year, is up at PopMatters. Tolstaya is a leading Russian writer with a well-known literary ancestry. The book has been wonderfully translated by Anya Migdal. This is a striking collection because of how the stories merge past and present with fantasy through auto-fiction, essays, and allegorical tales.
My July column of short stories is up at PopMatters. This month's theme is 'refugees'. Each of these stories (all free to read online) shows a different side to the life of a refugee: despair and heartbreak, but also joy and love. Stories by these award-winning writers: Viet Thanh Nguyen, Guadalupe Nettel, Bernard Malamud, Choi Jin-young, and Mohsin Hamid. As usual, I also point out a couple of writerly things about each story from a craft perspective.