I spent last week with the rest of Karen Joy Fowler’s new collection What I Didn’t See and Other Stories.
[Edited to add: My Working Writer’s Daily Planner says it’s KJF’s birthday today–Happy Birthday!!]
“Familiar Birds.” It’s funny how I keep coming across these “Back when I was a kid” stories lately. I liked this one even better than I liked Mark Rigney’s “Portfolio” from LCRW 22. 5 out of 5.
“Private Grave 9.” A detailed account of a character’s slow almost(?)-descent into… something. 5 out of 5.
“The Marianas Islands.” It had my favorite passage in the book so far, and one of the more interesting main characters. The ending was a little too abrupt for me. 4 out of 5.
“Once when I was four or five I asked my grandmother to tell me a secret, some secret things only grown-ups knew. She thought a moment, then leaned down close to me and whispered. ‘There are no grown-ups,’ she said.”
“Halfway People.” Probably has my second-favorite line in the collection, but I’m pretty sure it’s my favorite story overall. 5 out of 5.
“But a story never told is also a danger, particularly to the people in it.”
“Standing Room Only.” One story with John Wilkes Booth, dancing around his most infamous performance in the Ford Theater? Okay. Two? I don’t know. 3 out of 5.
“What I Didn’t See.” Loved the ending, but it just took a little too long to get there for me. 3.5 out of 5.
“King Rat.” This was in the Trampoline anthology, but I hadn’t gotten that far yet. A nicely solemn riff on the Pied Piper story. 5 out of 5.