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Showing posts from April, 2017

Book Review: The Spanish American Short Story, edited by Seymour Menton

I love the cover of this book.  Look closely - it's a little skeleton man clasping his hands over a cup of black coffee.  I don't know what it means, but it's delightful.      Anyway, I read this collection of short stories in Spanish - El cuento hispanoamericano - for a class I am taking this semester, but it is also available in English.  According to my professor, it's a unique book in that it offers the best representation of Latin American short stories throughout modern history, with details about literary movements and authors as well.  I liked some stories better than others - "The Tree" by Maria Luisa Bombal and "The Ruby" by Ruben Dario were my favorites - but even the ones I disliked, such as "Secret Love" by Manuel Payno, were included because they were representative of a certain movement or regional style that was worth acknowledging.        My only issue with this book is that a story I just mentioned, "The Tree,&…

Book Review: Love by Toni Morrison

When I finished this novel, I wondered, as I always do when I finish a Toni Morrison novel, why I ever read anything else.  I read it over break, and after months of reading for school rather than pleasure, it was a relief to bury myself in beautiful writing.
Love follows the Cosey family through three generations, from the start to the end of the twentieth century.  The Coseys are a wealthy black family whose wealth comes from a beachfront hotel owned by Mr. Cosey, the grandfather and patriarch.  The story has various narrators, including the women who lived under his roof and his influence - his daughter, granddaughter, cook, and young wife, as well as the unstable teenage girl who feels his presence in the house long after his death.
     That detail particularly struck me as I was reading - the apparent immortality of his influence.  Mr. Cosey was a great man - a Black American who enriched himself in the face of violent racism, who quietly paid for the weddings and hospital …