DELICATE EDIBLE BIRDS and other stories
Okay, so the book isn’t brand new, but when you stumble upon an author who entrances you, who cares when the book came out?
Lauren Groff, author of critically acclaimed and bestselling Monsters of Templeton, has given us the gift of this resonant book of short stories, each an insightful drama of a twentieth century woman.
She writes stories that are both achingly real and mythic. In Lucky Chow Fun, the first story, a shocker taking place in the small Midwestern town of Templeton refers to fairy tale within the telling of the tale, and it’s never intrusive. “Fairy tales,” she writes, “are not like real life in all its beautiful ambiguity. There are no semigod absent mothers. Or, for that matter, semipresent good ones.
The youngest daughter in this story has OCD, and fixed on ornithology. Every writer knows how challenging it is to write onomatopoeia. Well, Poll, the younger girl, has figured out how to do birdsong in words. “Hurry, flurry, blurry, worry,” is the scarlet tanager’s song. The Eastern Towhee’s song is “hot dog, pickle, ickle, ickle.”
No use in my telling you about each story. Read them. In each, there’s so much to learn beyond the stories edges. Other worlds to open to.