About Me

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Originally from Vermont, I now live in North Carolina. My work can be found in recent issues of REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, Pank, and Gargoyle #57, among others. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. Currently, I'm an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine. I'm also working on two novels and a short story collection. In 2011, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Read This: Women Up On Blocks by Mary Akers


What better way to kick off Dan Wickett's designated short story month then a riveting, unique collection of stories by my talented friend, Mary Akers. I'd read most of these stories prior to reading them in the collection and it's a testament to Akers' talent that I was just as dazzled by them this time as I was then--even more so, actually.

Mary writes about motherhood, marriage and desire with a fierce honesty. Fierce! "Medusa Song," the opener, is an affecting story of a harried, exhausted mother with little support and we follow her through her afternoon, breath held from the fear of what will happen next, and then Akers ends it in the most desperately beautiful way. "Wild, Wild Horses" offers a look at the strength of a woman, both literally and figuratively. "Mooncalf" blew me away with its raw, emotional power. Who would dare to write about motherhood from the perspective of a woman with cerebral palsy? Mary Akers did and she does it with veracity and heart and this story will slay you. And then there's "The Rashomon Tree," a story of two women with very different views, each mired in their own brand of righteousness, discovering the middle ground, learning what it means to love "the other". Mary Akers has a gift for empathy, for getting inside the heads of all kinds of women, and giving them a voice full of bravery, honesty, strength, humor and love.

5 comments:

Dan Wickett said...

Ooh! I'm looking forward to this collection. I've read some of the pieces I'm sure, but am anxious to see those I haven't and as you note, re-enjoy those that I have read again.

Mary Akers said...

Thanks so much Kat! What a generous and insightful review!!

katrina said...

It's an amazing, collection, Mary. I enjoyed reading it!

J.W. Nicklaus said...

She hit the nail on the head. Well, I'm not female, but I know from reading these stories that Kat has indeed captured Mary's visceral impact and depth of character emotion.

It truly is a beautiful piece of work. IF you're reading this and have so much as considered getting the book, consider no more. Just do it. Trust me and Kat . . . you'll be glad you did :^)

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