Tag Archives: fiction review

After the Gazebo by Jen Knox

after_the_gazeboPaperback: 185 pages

Publisher: Rain Mountain Press; First edition (May 31, 2015)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1495106128

ISBN-13: 978-1495106125

Review by g emil reutter

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There are many sides to life, Jen Knox, an observer, brings to our attention the stories of people we may not normally see. There is the lady on the bus who speaks to everyone on her way to visit her recovering daughter, not sure if the clean and drug free daughter will be there or the other daughter. Her nervousness results in speaking to people on the bus. She gets to know the regulars, speaks to new folks if they like it or not. She brings gifts to those she gets to know on the regular route of this bus. The character knows people who takes buses don’t have cars. The tension builds in the story, as in all stories in this collection, with an unpredictable conclusion. She writes of the perfect couple with the perfect small wedding with just a hint that something isn’t right. There is the wandering daughter who has left home many times only to return but never when she says she will arrive. Her mother makes excuses, her ill father knows why.

Knox is a master at character development in these very short stories, she brings us into their lives, we get to know them and then just as quickly she throws us out as we look for more. There is an electricity that flows through this collection, not a sedentary moment.

After the Gazebo is a collection of stories of people you may be familiar with in your own lives. Many of whom you don’t pay attention even though they live right in front of you, neighbors, may be in your family, or those you see every day on the way to work.  Knox writes of them, sometimes gentle, sometimes brutal, always in a forthright manner. After the Gazebo is a must read.

You can check out the book here:  http://www.amazon.com/After-Gazebo-Jen-Knox/dp/1495106128/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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g emil reutter '15-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. He can be found at https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/

The Fox Chase Review – 2008-2013 Archives now available

FCClockTallFlat Our archives for 2008 thru 2013 are now live and on line. You can find them here: http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/archives.html

Thanks to Sandra Davidson for taking care of this.

Pre-Winter 2014 Editions of the Fox Chase Review

Fox_Chase_Review__2_

For those looking for The Fox Chase Review pre 2014, Sandra Davidson is currently working on converting the files into a web friendly pdf file .You will be able to access  the file at www.thefoxchasereview  by clicking  the archives link when she completes the transfer.

The Spirit Bird by Kent Nelson

spiritSeries: Pitt Drue Heinz Lit Prize

Hardcover: 336 pages

Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press; 1 edition (September 19, 2014)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0822944367

ISBN-13: 978-0822944362

 

Review by Robert Hambling Davis

Like Lorrie Moore’s Birds of America, Kent Nelson’s collection, The Spirit Bird, features birds, or at least one bird, in every story. Each story is set in a different location, including Alaska, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, Washington, and California. Many of the characters are avid birders, but the stories themselves explore the lives of lonely men and women trying to resolve their cultural and racial differences, or to overcome the isolating effects of past traumas by seeking a connection with the human community, or the natural world, or both.

In “Alba,” Último Vargas runs his own door-to-door movie business in the New Mexico desert, where he is forced to live and to compete with Netflix. “The Hotel Glitter” portrays a single Hispanic mother who commutes three hours a day to work at a hotel spa near Telluride, and must choose where her loyalties lie when her childhood friend shows up unexpectedly and creates a scene at the spa. “Who is Danny Pendergast?” features a man who can turn into a donkey, and Hakim, the Middle Eastern protagonist in “Race,” is a glassblower and runner who alters his priorities after surviving a clinical death in a marathon.

The fourteen stories are character-based, and most of them have open-ended conclusions, as if stand-alone first chapters of novels, leaving the reader to speculate over possible sequels. The metaphoric “spirit bird,” which thematically ties these stories together, shows what its different characters have lost, usually through emotional trauma, and what they must struggle to overcome to rectify their impoverished lives and feel a sense of community.

An avid birder, Nelson has identified more than 757 North American species. Birding, he says, has made him more “aware of looking,” and this practice “has meshed nicely with [his] writing.” He is a world traveler, with a doctoral degree in Environmental Law from Harvard, and one of the pleasures of reading The Spirit Bird is its detailed descriptions of wildlife. Nelson is also a mountain runner, a sport he’s trained in since 1996, and he’s run the Pikes Peak Marathon twice. Several of the characters in The Spirit Bird search their inner selves in ways reminiscent of the willpower and endurance of long-distance runners. Nelson’s short fiction has appeared The Best American Short Stories, The Best of the West, the O. Henry and Pushcart anthologies, and The Best American Mystery Stories. He has also published two novels, Language in the Blood and Land That Moves, Land That Stands Still.

His prose is well-crafted, and the collection won the 2014 Drue Heiz Literature Prize, which offers a cash award of $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press. David Guterson, who wrote Snow Falling on Cedars, was the judge.

The Spirit Bird will appeal to readers who like stories featuring complex characters who seek new personal horizons amid natural landscapes.

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You can check out the book here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Spirit-Bird-Stories-Heinz/dp/0822944367

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rhdavis-1– Robert Hambling Davis is a fiction editor of The Fox Chase Review. He has published in The Sun, Antietam Review, Memoir (and), Philadelphia Stories, Santa Monica Review, and elsewhere. He’s been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, and received three Delaware Division of the Arts grants, two for fiction and one for creative nonfiction. He was a fiction semifinalist in the William Faulkner Creative Writing Contest in 2002 and 2012, and a creative nonfiction winner in 2013. Robert helps direct the Delaware Literary Connection, a nonprofit serving writers in Delaware and surrounding areas. He is a member of the Delaware Artist Roster, and has given writing workshops and readings in the Mid-Atlantic.

Coming Soon….The Winter 2015 Edition of The Fox Chase Review

The Banks of the Pennypack Creek in Philadelphia

The Banks of the Pennypack Creek in Philadelphia

The winter 2015 edition of The Fox Chase Review is now in production. This edition will feature:

Poetry by:

M.P. Carver, Colin Dardis, Marty Esworthy, Melanie Eyth,  Gene Halus, Phil Linz, Gloria Monaghan, Stephen Page,  Chad Parenteau,  Prabha Nayak Prabhu,  Felino A. Soriano, Jack Veasey,  Lee Varon

Fiction by:

Ramona Long, Mary Pauer, Jeffrey Voccola

 

Einstein’s Beach House – Stories by Jacob M. Appel

einsteinPaperback: 188 pages

Publisher: Pressgang (December 5, 2014)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0984940588

ISBN-13: 978-0984940585

Review by g emil reutter

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In Einstein’s Beach House, Jacob Appel, tackles family relationships, love affairs intermingled with hedgehogs, turtles and mental illness. Of Rabbis and conductors, child advocates and child molesters. These eight stories flow nicely in a matter of fact voice of the author, who no matter what the topic is, makes sense of it all, or does he?

The title story is set at the Jersey shore when a couple finds out that their home, which has been the home of the family for generations, was once Einstein’s beach house. The father, who is out of work, begins to give tours of the house at twenty five bucks a head. His wife is not approving but accepts the cash until a knock comes to the door and it is Einstein’s niece who has come a knocking. Appel is a master at character interaction, defining the family relationship between parents and children in short order.

Appel writes quirky stories, humor pops up in unexpected places and the stories flow with great energy. It is in these dysfunctional stories Appel tells us it is ok to be who you are, no matter who you are. He leaves us sometimes with joy, sometimes with broken hearts but always writes stories that keep moving even when death is just around the corner.

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You can find the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Einsteins-Beach-House-Jacob-Appel/dp/0984940588/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417220259&sr=1-1&keywords=einsteins%27s+beach+house+by+jacob+m+appel

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g emil reutter at Chop Suey Books-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA). https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/

 

The Autumn 2014 Edition of The Fox Chase Review is Now Available

Autum 2014 Cover

The Autumn 2014 Edition of The Fox Chase Review is now live on line. We are pleased to present the following poets and writers.

Poetry by: Charles Carr, Bibhas Roy Chowdhury/Kiriti Sengupta, Noah Cutler, Emari DiGiorgio , James Guth, Ben Heins, David Livewell, Maria Massington, Laren McClung, Kelly McQuain,  Robert Milby,  John Richard Smith,  Changmin Yuan,  Jason Wright

Fiction by: Dennis Lawson and Danny Johnson

www.thefoxchasereview.org

Thanks to our staff: Poetry Editor Diane Sahms-Guarnieri, Fiction Editors Russell Reece and Robert Hambling Davis and Web Editor Katie Reutter.