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Feminism fuels fantasy in this genre-busting collection by "master of the fantastic" (Roxane Gay) Amber Sparks.
Exciting fans of such writers as Kelly Link, Karen Russell, and Carmen Maria Machado with prose that shimmers and stings, Amber Sparks holds a singular role in the canon of the weird. Now, she reaches new, uncanny heights with And I Do Not Forgive You.
In "Mildly Happy, With Moments of Joy", a friend is ghosted by a simple text message; in "Everyone's a Winner at Meadow Park", a teen precariously coming of age in a trailer park befriends an actual ghost. At once humorous and unapologetically fierce, these stories shine an interrogating light on the adage that "history likes to lie about women" - as the subjects of "A Short and Speculative History of Lavoisier's Wife" and "You Won't Believe What Really Happened to the Sabine Women" (it's true, you won't) will attest. Blending fairy tales and myths with apocalyptic technologies, all tethered intricately by shades of rage, And I Do Not Forgive You offers a mosaic of an all-too-real world that fails to listen to its silenced goddesses.
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I’m pretty picky when it comes to short story collections, especially magical realism as the vehicle to discuss feminism/gender inequality but Amber Sparks is definitely gifted at this sort of short story. Compelling ideas that are just weird enough to feel perfect for experimental short story writing without alienating readers who don’t necessarily have enough of a foundation in the craft to appreciate some of the more... quirky experimental magical realism that seems to be popular in this style of writing right now. She doesn’t sacrifice any of the darker topics while accomplishing that, which I am very happy to see! Definitely a great collection to add to your library!
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- Rebecca S.
What the heck did I just listen to?
Generally, I'm super confused. it was all very sad and depressing and just gritty in a completely unsatisfying way. The stories were all short and none of them concluded.