|06-06-2008, 07:56 PM||#1|
Manic Do Fuse
Join Date: Oct 2006
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McHugh, Maureen: Mothers and Other Monsters, v1 6 Jun 2008
Story Prize Finalist
Book Sense Notable Book
"All the gorgeously crafted stories in Maureen McHugh's Mothers & Other Monsters have in common a profound understanding of the intricacies of human relationships, to which McHugh adds a touch of the fantastical. But here the fantastical seems so normal, so part of our everyday experience, that we simply accept McHugh's premises, odd as they might be when you consider them independently of the tales themselves. The adjective that best represents this collection is 'unsettling'. How else to describe stories in which a young woman meets a man she's attracted to at a dog obedience class and discovers that she dreads introducing him to her dead brother ("In the Air"); "Ancestor Money," in which a bequest entices a woman to leave her comfortable home in the afterlife for a visit to China; or "Laika Comes Back Safe," the story of two teenagers who are drawn together by the fact that both have unhappy home lives, but whose friendship is doomed because one is a werewolf. Whether it's alternative history that seems so real you start to question your own knowledge of the past ("The Lincoln Train") or a tale of the horrifying end of a utopian colony ("The Cost To Be Wise"), McHugh shows that what many people might dismiss initially as genre fiction can become transcendent in the right hands.
I was so impressed by these stories that I immediately went back and read McHugh's first novel, China Mountain Zhang, which I had somehow missed, and enjoyed it thoroughly."
-- Nancy Pearl (Book Lust) on Morning Edition, "Books for a Rainy Day"
Mothers & Other Monsters is licensed under a Creative Commons (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license allowing readers to share the stories with friends and generally have at them in any remixing/interpretation/Web 2.0 huddly-guddly noncommercial manner.
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