YOU MIGHT FORGET THE SKY WAS EVER BLUE, short stories by Michael Chin, reviewed by Emily Webber

Heavy Feather Review

You Might Forget the Sky Was Ever Blue, by Michael Chin. Duck Lake Books, September 2019. 136 pages. $16.99, paper.

The characters in Michael Chin’s debut short story collection, You Might Forget the Sky Was Ever Blue, are figuring out how to be in the world with others and themselves. Many of these characters’ lives are full of trauma and turmoil and the best they hope for is easier times in the future. Chin’s stories show a fascinating mix of relationships at different ages, and these stories show, sometimes in graphic detail, how we hurt each other and ourselves but in turn, how much we need each other.

In blunt and plain language, Chin does not shy away from the most difficult and shameful parts of relationships between friends, lovers, siblings, and parents and children. There’s no flowery language or lyrical descriptions and it makes these…

View original post 861 more words

(Book Review) Brass by Xhenet Aliu

Fourth and Sycamore

Review by Emily Webber

Brass, Xhenet Aliu’s debut novel, is at its core a story about a mother and daughter, about delinquent dads, and the search for the American dream. The novel opens in the 90’s with Elsie, working at the Betsy Ross Diner in Connecticut, where she meets a line cook named Bashkim. He’s fled the chaos and violence of Albania in search of a better life. He’s older and married, but in America alone because his wife refuses to leave their home country. One of the first conversations between Elsie and Bashkim goes like this:

“You’re freezing,” he said. “Hell froze over. Your boyfriend picking you up?”

“My mother. I don’t have a boyfriend.”

“Yes you do. I am your boyfriend.”

“I don’t know if your wife would like that,” I said.

“You don’t say anything about my wife. That’s rule number one.”

Rule number one. It was…

View original post 1,109 more words

A Review of Sarah Viren’s Mine

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

51BqmRIR5+L._SX342_BO1,204,203,200_by Emily Webber

When my son was born a year and a half ago, I was suddenly a different version of myself, and as he has moved into toddlerhood, I’ve had dueling emotions. On one side there’s a feeling of overwhelming completeness. I’ve finally found the thing that is closest to me—possession in its truest sense. There’s a power in bringing someone into the world and caring for them. But I’m also met with a profound sense of powerlessness. Every day I am faced with the realization that my son has his own personality and agenda. The realization that I won’t be able to protect him from everything. Sometimes it seems with every interaction he is pushing away just a little more, leading up to a larger loss in the future that I will surely face—his leaving home, our own mortality. As I read Sarah Viren’s essay collection, Mine, I…

View original post 643 more words