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BY THE WAYSIDE: Wonder Full Short Stories ~Anne Leigh Parrish

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

BY THE WAYSIDE is definitely a book of short stories that has brought me delight and enjoyment.  I believe that this is because of Anne Leigh Parrish’s style of storytelling and her interesting twists and pockets of humor in the most common of circumstances.  There are such wonderful sneaky quirks found here.

TLC Book Tours  sent me a PDF file of the book for review and it came at perfect timing.  I just adore good short stories whether they make me think, cry, laugh, or exploit my confusion.   I like to keep them on my phone so that when I am waiting for an appointment, or the bus, and even for my partner to arrive I always have something portable to dive into and not lose track of; I am carrying my phone anyway so why not a bunch of stories?  Any of Parrish’s stories begin as a “winner” read in my book and BY THE WAYSIDE did not disappoint.

The characters have a genuine quality.

I always have a hard time writing about short story books.  Do I highlight something about each of the 18 stories? Do I tell you one made me very sad and also I never thought I would find painful menstruation a topic, which will forever make me smile and laugh?  I did very much like the stories where one of the characters found their own voice or calling and were able to strike out on their own to make a good change for themselves.  Several stories demanded that I think about them as I needed to draw my own conclusions and the one primarily about food, a food that I delight in eating, did not make me hungry rather challenged my heart too.

The stories can be very short or traditional length and still capture the full measure.

Anne Leigh Parrish is the author of All the Roads That Lead From Home, stories (Press 53, 2011); Our Love Could Light The World, stories (She Writes Press, 2014); and What Is Found, What Is Lost, a novel (She Writes Press, 2014). Her new novel, Women Within, is forthcoming from Black Rose Writing in September 2017. Find Anne on Facebook, Twitter, and her website. (From TLC Book Tours)

Parrish is a Master wordsmith.

“Anne Leigh Parrish is one of the best of a new wave of American short story writers reinvigorating the form. Many of these writers specialize at flash fiction– a genre at which Parrish is a master. She also, however, excels at stories of more traditional length. Her tales, long or short, are highly readable but also convey intelligence and meaning. Few writers today create as much compassion for their characters, or draw as much emotion from their situations, as does Anne Leigh Parrish.” – Karl Wenclas, Editor, New Pop Lit.

Titles of stories:
AN ANGEL WITHIN; HOW SHE WAS FOUND; ARTICHOKES; THE PROFESSOR; SMOKE; WHERE LOVE LIES; THE KEEPER OF THE TRUTH; AN ACT OF CONCEALMENT; TRIAL BY LUCK; ALONG CAME A SPIDER; BY THE WAYSIDE; LETTERS OF LOVE AND HATE; THE FALL; BREE’S MIRACLE; PATIENCE; FIRE AND ICE; A THING OF BEAUTY;THE LILLIAN GIRL

Related  Reading:
Our Love Could Light The World
Half As Happy
Flings
Incendiary Girls
A Brief Moment of Weightlessness

THE THING ABOUT GREAT WHITE SHARKS and other stories ~Rebecca Adams Wright

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

“These are ceaselessly inventive stories, witty, wry, and wondrous, by turn, and all graced with an emotional sincerity that ensure they never dip into mere whimsy.  This is speculative fiction with both a head and a heart.”  -Peter Ho Davies, author of The Welsh Girl. (From the cover)

THE THING ABOUT GREAT WHITE SHARKS and Other Stories is that it is a collection of fine boned stories that connect in the present moment, while drawing close history and future into the reader’s comprehension while evolving into a truly original possibility.

I grabbed the Uncorrected, Unproofed book as I was heading for a doctor’s appointment.  One more stories and one more test turned into an incredible 9 hour waiting event and THE THING ABOUT GREAT WHITE SHARKS held my attention through each test and waiting for an outcome.  The stories grabbed hold of the mind’s eye and held on until the story stopped.  The stories swirled around in my head while sleep was induced and pain relieved.  My advocate perused the stories while I rested.

The chapter titles caught my attention:

  • Sheila
  • Tiger Brigh
  • What to Expect When You’re expecting an Alien Parasite
  • Orchids
  • Melville loves Hawthorne
  • The Other Husband
  • Barnstormers
  • The Space We Share
  • Poland, 1952
  • Keeper of the Glass
  • Yuri, in a Blue Dress
  • Storybag
  • The Thing about Great White Sharks
  • Aleph Bat
  • The White Chalk Road

How amazing would it be to be flying in an ornithopter in an air show and to know that you just saved your teams future by flying a new and dangerous configuration?  How hard would it be to give up your dog companion and good friend because the law said it was to be done? How would you rationalize or explain a school locker turning in homework after the student died?

I was very pleased to be reviewing these stories for TLC Book Tours so I could share them with you.   I did not like every story in the book with equal delight and yet the book got me through a difficult day with the clever, heartfelt writing

About the author from TLC web page:

“Rebecca Adams Wright is a 2011 graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop and a former University of Michigan Zell Writing Fellow. She has an MFA in fiction from the University of Michigan and has won the Leonard and Eileen Newman Writing Prize. Rebecca lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with her husband and daughter.”

Rebecca Adams Wright Facebook
Rebecca Adams Wright Website 

Related:
What the Zhang Boys Know
Flings
No Longer And Not Yet 
Half As Happy Stories