Wednesday, June 13, 2007


This 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

Next Week:

The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdich
Impossible Dreams by Tim Pratt
L'Alchimista by N.K. Jemisin
The Butler Didn't Do It by Maria Lima

Last 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

I was very impressed by the Groff, with its nuanced characters and high level of texture - there is a small scene involving the leavetaking of the narrator's father that is one of the most moving bits of the story. The Starr was a hilarious gem, held together by the powerful consistent voice of the narrator (a 13-year old girl who wishes to be a Prisoner of Love, not a Prisoner of Conscience). The Kunzru got all of us speculating on just what happened to the wife of the protagonist, while the Gaiman, beautifully written and observed as usual, fell flat around the ending, when the delicious ambiguity was replaced by a more pedestrian sense of "no, this is what happened". All in, a great week for short fiction. Lots to learn.

The LitCritters is a 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.

For those who'd like to join us, first, sign up for the LitCritter mailing list (which is basically me sending the readings once a week). Next, read all the stories for the week. Then, join one of our open sessions at A Different Bookstore at Serendra, Bonifacio High Street (the first one is on Saturday, June 23, 4PM).

We'd love to have you there.



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