This month's short stories column features parties. Stories by these five writers: Katherine Mansfield, Banaphool (tr. Arunava Sinha), Joshua Ferris, Nina McConigley, and Kirsten Valdez Quade. And the parties described — a summer garden party, an elaborate tea function, an intimate couples dinner, a themed pre-wedding get-together, and an annual blueberry celebration — are not only life-changing for the protagonists but they are also memorably unique for readers.
This month's short stories column at PopMatters looks at five new short story collections out this year by American writers of South Asian origin. I also take a look at what "South Asian" covers as a demographic. And how the works of such diasporic writers are typically being received in both the US and their countries of origin (mostly India.) The five stories featured are from: Vandana Singh; Akil Kumarasamy; Neel Patel; Anita Felicelli; and Chaya Bhuvaneswar
My September column is up at PopMatters. Stories by: Roxane Gay (JFK); Jeff VanderMeer (Jeb Bush); Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Melania Trump); George Saunders (Abraham Lincoln); Curtis Sittenfeld (Hillary Clinton.) These fictional works about the personal lives of American politicians' (and a spouse, in one case) are well-crafted and show us unusual but highly believable aspects of their personalities. Also, there's an introductory section about why political fiction (in books, on screen, on stage) matters.