The Pacific Rim Review of Books: Self Wants to Eat/Read Everything

Issue Twenty-Three, Vol. 12 No. 1

 

 

New for the Reading List: The Economist Books, 12 May 2018

  1. The latest from Rachel Cusk: Kudos (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle series is mentioned in the review: self has been wanting to read Knausgaard. Hopefully, someday.
  2. Eye of the Shoal: A Fishwatcher’s Guide to Life, the Ocean and Everything, by Helen Scales (Bloomsbury Sigma). Scales’s earlier book, about seashells, is Spirals in Time.
  3. Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo, by Zora Neale Hurston: written in 1927, finally out in print!!! (Amistad)

Poetry Monday: U Sam Oeur Again

from Exodus

— translated from the Cambodian by Ken McCullough

Once the Blackcrows had usurped the power
they started to evacuate people from Phnom Penh
they threw patients through hospital windows
(women in labor and the lame), drove tanks
over them then bulldozed them under.

The poem Exodus is part of the collection Sacred Vows, a bilingual edition of U Sam Ouer’s poetry, published by Coffee House Press.

This is self’s companion reading to Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, O’Brien’s stories about his experiences as a grunt during the Vietnam War.

O’Brien and U Sam Oeur, in Southeast Asia at roughly the same time, each oblivious of the other. But afterward, what great literature they both produced.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Poetry Sunday: U Sam Oeur

from The Fall of Culture

— translated from the Cambodian by Ken McCullough

I hid the precious wealth,
packed the suitcases with milled rice,
packed old clothes, a small scrap-metal oven,
pots, pans, plates, spoons, an ax, a hoe,
some preserved fish in small plastic containers —
loaded it all in a cart and towed it eastward
under the full moon, May ’75.

Born in the Svey Rieng province of Cambodia, U Sam Oeur received his MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop in 1968. Upon returning to Cambodia, he was elected to the National Assembly in 1972 and in 1973 was appointed Secretary General of the Khmer League for Freedom. He remained there after Cambodia was “liberated” by the Vietnamese.

The Fall of Culture is part of a bilingual Khmer and English edition of U Sam Oeur’s poetry, Sacred Vows (Coffee House Press)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Philippine Dept. of Education Call for Supplementary Materials

Self got an e-mail yesterday from alma mater Ateneo de Manila University. They’d been trying to reach her because the Philippine Department of Education wants to include her first collection of short stories, Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila, in schools. It will be part of the supplementary learning materials (SLM) for Grades 7 to 12.

You know what that means, self’s Philippine publisher said. That means, they will order copies. Lots of copies. And if the publisher runs out of copies, they’ll have to print some more.

That book, self’s first, was one of five finalists for the Philippines’ National Book Award. She forgets who won that year. She told her Dad about it, and of all the things he could have said, he said this: “Do you know how famous your Mom used to be? She was so famous, she performed in Carnegie Hall!” Self had no answer.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

In Honor of Independent Bookstore Day 28 April 2018: Poet Anne-Adele Wight Lists Her Favorites

What a universe of riches is contained in a writer’s list of recommended books. This is the second article self has posted in honor of Independent Bookstore Day 2018. Everyone who wants to do something special for the day, take a look at Anne-Adele’s books below, then go to your nearest independent bookstore and inquire if they have a copy in-store. If they don’t, ask them to order. It only takes a few days!

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T-Shirt Features a Quote from Shakespeare: “These violent delights have violent ends.”

Anne-Adele Wight is the author of the poetry collections The Age of Greenhouses, Sidestep Catapult and Opera House Arterial, which she describes as “a surreal trickster mythology.” An interview of her can be found on her publisher’s website: BlazeVOX. Her background includes literature, archaeology, and technical communication. She performs widely and has sponsored many events in her home city of Philadelphia.

Here is how she explains the genesis of Opera House Arterial:

In 1983 a friend showed me a postcard she’d received from Quito, Ecuador, the home of a well-known nineteenth-century opera house, El Teatro Nacional. The postcard showed the opera house as something etheral, not quite connected to the ground, because a row of buildings hid the lowest part. Behind it the Andes rose high into the air, looking unearthly. I felt something strike into my brain and know I had to write a poem, but where to begin? I put the opera house aside for many years; it finally surfaced when it was ready. I realized I had not one poem, but many, and started writing. Before long I had a book, Opera House Arterial, and a mythical character, my trickster opera house.

Without further ado, Anne-Adele’s list of recommended books:

 POETRY
  • Sandra Beasley, Count the Waves
  • Sarah Blake, Let’s Not Live on Earth
  • Travis Cebula and Sarah Suzor, After the Fox
  • CAConrad, While Standing in Line for Death
  • Lucas de Lima, Wetland
  • Ryan Eckes, Valu-Plus
  • Lisa A. Flowers, diatomhero: religious poems
  • Geoffrey Gatza, A Dog Lost in the Brick City of Outlawed Trees
  • Sueyeun Juliette Lee, Solar Maximum
  • Lynn Levin,  Miss Plastique
  • Jane Lewty, In One Form to Find Another
  • Jenn McCreary, Ab Ovo
  • MaryAnn L. Miller, Cures for Hysteria
  • Debrah Morkun, Projection Machine
  • Eileen Myles, I Must Be Living Twice
  • Gabriel Ojeda-Sagué, Jazzercise is a Language
  • Raquel Salas Rivera, lo tercario / tertiary
  • Amy Small-McKinney, Walking toward Cranes
  • Nicole Steinberg, Glass Actress
  • Brian Teare, The Empty Form Goes All the Way to Heaven
  • Divya Victor, Things to Do with Your Mouth
  • Anne Waldman, Manatee / Humanity

FICTION

  • Isabel Allende, Daughter of Fortune
  • Ann Arensberg, Incubus
  • Margaret Atwood, Moral Disorder
  • Margaret Atwood, Stone Mattress
  • Robertson Davies, The Deptford Trilogy
  • Margaret Drabble, The Red Queen
  • Ursula K. LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness
  • Doris Lessing, The Grandmothers
  • Eileen Myles, Chelsea Girls
  • Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
  • Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight
  • Isaac Bashevis Singer, The Manor
  • Jacqueline Woodson, Another Brooklyn
  • Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
  • Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

NONFICTION & GENRE-DEFYING

  • Atul Gawande, Mortal
  • David Harrison, The Last Speakers: A Quest to Save the World’s Most Endangered Languages
  • Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs
  • Gina Kolata, Flu
  • Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven
  • Kelcey Parker Ervick, The Bitter Life of Božena Němcova
  • Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  • Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

Now, get on over to your local independent bookstore!

Stay tuned.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Busy/People Working

It’s been weeks since self has been able to participate in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.

This week is: Show people BUSY or WORKING.

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The Octopus Literary Salon is held in — where else? — the Octopus, a coffee bar in downtown Oakland. This particular reading was in February 2018. The organizer of the series is the fabulous Raina Leon (standing at the mic).

And here’s a picture from the most recent AWP Bookfair, which was held early March in Tampa, FL. It is a huge event, probably one of the biggest Bookfairs in the country.  Self has to try so hard to rein in her bookbuying instincts. It’s easy to return from there with a whole suitcase of books!

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Annual AWP Bookfair, Tampa, FL: 9 March 2018

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Just Published: THE COST OF PAPER, Vol. 5, an International Anthology of Short Fiction

Published April 3 by 1888 Center in Orange, CA. Series Editor: Julianne Berokoff.

Self was so busy with the DAMN TAXES that she didn’t have time to announce, much less celebrate.

The anthology includes her short story, “This Is End.” In the story, Dragon’s BFF Her is possibly deceased but her ghost appears and re-appears. Dragon thinks he’s seen her on the wreck of the space station the Kobayashi Maru (Yes, the choice of name is self’s little homage to Star Trek):

  • It caught fire. The wreckage drifted, was lost. Then found. Then lost, and found again.

Parts 1 and 2 of this story are on Juked.com and Quarterly West, respectively. The Juked.com story, “First Life,” is available, here’s the link. Not sure where to find it on the Quarterly West site (Story Title: “First Causes”)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: HAPPY

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is HAPPY. Self started looking through her archives and decided on a set of pictures she took during the most recent AWP conference, a month ago, in Tampa.

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2018 AWP Bookfair, Tampa, FL

She mostly hung out at the Bookfair. One of the highlights of her trip was getting to meet the editors of the Bellingham Review! They published her (dystopian fantasy) story “Ice” in their annual on-line issue, up now. It stays up till November.

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SO HAPPY to meet the Editors of the Bellingham Review at the AWP 2018 Bookfair!

Thank you for making self so HAPPY, Bellingham Review!

Stay tuned.

 

 

MANILA NOIR: “Desire”

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Manila Noir was edited by Jessica Hagedorn and published by Akashic Books in 2013.

Hagedorn wanted a brand-new story, so self wrote her one, which she titled “Desire.”

“Desire” can be found in Part III (“They Live by Night”) of the anthology. The story’s setting is Ermita.

What parts of a bird are edible?

Epifanio did not know. He would guess: eyes, tail, breast.

Afterward, when they were all gathered in the small lobby, they were offered warm Coke in thick glasses, no ice.

Why would anyone ask them a question about birds? They were there to study to be seamen: most of them were from Negros, like Epifanio. The rest were from Marinduque, Zambales, Cagayan de Oro, Davao.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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