Wednesday, June 06, 2007


This Week:

How to Talk to Girls at Parties by Neil Gaiman
Bodywork by Hari Kunzru
Lucky Chow Fun by Lauren Groff
Why I Am Not Gorilla Girl by Daniel Starr

Next Week:

Hanwell Senior by Zadie Smith
Higher Orders by John Bengan
Love is the Plan and the Plan is Death by James Tiptree, Jr.
City of Chimera by Richard Bowes

Last Week:

Clockmaker's Requiem by Barth Anderson
Different Flesh by Claude Lalumiere
Zilkowski's Theorem by Karl Iagnemma
Meteorite Mountain by Cao Xue

I enjoyed the Anderson the most, delighting in the taut and inventive writing. The Iagnemma was a wonderful read as well - the characters are so well defined and the emotions believable (he has another interesting story, "The Phrenologist's Dream").

I'm deeply indebted to Veronica Montes for sharing Cao Xue's story with the LitCritters. This dense and peculiar text provoked much discussion and speculation among us, including the need for a cultural context when reading certain works to better appreciate them.

The LitCritters is a small reading and writing group based in Manila, as well as in Dumaguete. Every week, we read and discuss several pieces of short fiction from various genres from different writers with the goal of expanding our reading horizons, improving our ability to critique, and learning how to write from the good texts. In addition to speculative fiction, we read Philippine literature in English, as well as world literature.

Once in a blue moon, we are requested to conduct writing workshops (such as our recent 3-weekend stint at A Different Bookstore), and are planning to hold a more formal one, maybe next summer, as schedules and realities of life permit. For those who'd like to join us, we recommend participating in one of the workshops, or signing up for the LitCritter mailing list (which is basically me sending the readings once a week). We also accept the occasional sit-in (when we conduct sessions in restos or cafes). If you'd like to be on the mailing list or want to sit in on one of our sessions, email me at deanalfar(at)gmail(dot)com.



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