Widow: Stories by Michelle Latiolais is a compact collection, intimate and charged. The female protagonists in these eighteen stories are unnamed and vary in ages, and the theme of widowhood is entwined with stories that share a sense of loneliness and loss.
Will teaches his kids in a freestyle fashion. They come to class willing to listen and learn, and he will listen and learn from them. The school in which he teaches seems buttoned up, and he’s a wild card in a stack of red queens. The pages of this book that take place in the classroom are so unique, powerful and hypnotizing, that it reminds me of every teacher I had that really made a difference in my life.
“Sure, the sales tax on books purchased at our store contributes to a better quality of life for all Californians, including social services for the elderly and disabled, but collecting sales tax kind of feels like overkill. We do enough for the community anyway,”
There is a huge gap in my reading history, and it is filled with unopened copies of every book written by Don DeLillo. That’s a lie, I read Libra. There was a time when I seemed to be convinced that Oswald couldn’t possibly have done that shooting job on his own. I read the first fifty pages of Underworld (that’s me lying again), which was great. Have I tried to make it work between myself and Don? Of course.
I’m left with this memory from early in the book, when an artist and master of all-encompassing charm, spent a weekend, one lousy weekend, in a stuffy middle class domicile. The withdrawal of charm is a terrible thing. Once you’ve experienced it and then had it taken away. It’s like being thrown out of Eden just when you were getting used to the place.
McHugh gives the reader great set pieces; the interiors of apartment buildings which have been looted or a pharmacy that has nothing left inside, except expired medications. Cahill builds a life in the small corners of the city and observes the dwindling zombie population while trying to remember what it is like outside the walls. Meanwhile he’s sharpening his game on the latest “inmates”.