Selections From xo Orpheus: Edited by Kate Bernheimer

xo-orpheus-large

How far have we fallen? How lonely have we become?

We all learned in middle school that ancient myths and folklore developed out of a human need for understanding and clarity.  These stories emerged to explain circumstances, events, rituals, beliefs, and emotions that early humans could not comprehend.  But now, thousands of years later, what makes us qualified to claim a higher understanding than ancient Greeks?  Yes, we have made incredible advancements in just about every field of study, but the mythological retellings in xo Orpheus remind us that, at our core, we still lack what the ancient Greeks we searching for: A reason for our suffering and contentment.  No matter how far we’ve come as a society, we still look to the skies and ask, wonder, curse, and strain for meaning and enlightenment.

Continue Reading

Lungs Full of Noise by Tessa Mellas

Lungs_Full_of_Noise ★★★☆☆
Lungs Full of Noise
Short Stories by Tessa Mellas
2013 / 128 Pages

The short stories in Tessa Mellas’s Lungs Full of Noise range from quirky and bizarre to sad and confusing.  For such a slim collection, the stories here offer a vast range of emotions, settings, perspectives, and horror.  From pregnancy and abortion to beauty and body image, Mellas’s stories present an intense and peculiar image of femininity – one that can only be described as macabre, ethereal, and tortured.

The story that fascinated me the most is entitled Bibi From Jupiter, and tells the story of a young girl from Jupiter who has traveled to Earth in order to attend college.  Unfortunately, Bibi’s roommate finds her presence unnerving and frustrating.  Besides Bibi’s green-tinted skin and androgynous physical makeup, she also has quite a knack for seducing co-eds.  Of course, Jupiterian sex isn’t quite like Earth sex.  Bibi’s genitals all seem to be contained within her bellybutton, which her roommate soon finds out makes for some interesting sexual positions.  And even more peculiar is the fact that Jupiterians can only give birth once, and then they die.  But according to Bibi, it might be worth it, because pregnancy is supposed to be the most mind-altering state of pleasure for aliens of her kind.  It’s completely weird and creative, which is why I really loved this collection at first.

Continue Reading

What We’re Reading / What You’re Reading 06.28.2013

What We're Reading

It’s time for another Friday edition of the segment where we fill you in on what we’re reading, and we hope that you’ll reciprocate by telling us what you’re enjoying (or loathing) as well.

Don’t be shy, we want to hear from you! Feedback from our followers will play a role in helping us to determine what books to read, review, and feature on this site over the coming months. It will also give us a better idea of the topics and genres that interest you.

Continue Reading

Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls by Alissa Nutting

Unclean_Jobs_for_Women_and_Girls ★★★★★
Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls
Short Stories by Alissa Nutting
2010 / 188 Pages

Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls has been on my radar since it was released in 2010, but I have finally gotten around to this collection, and now, one of my life’s biggest regrets is that I did not read Alissa Nutting sooner.  I usually prefer novels to short stories, but these little vignettes are so unpredictable and distinctive that I found myself utterly entranced with wide-eyed curiosity and fear, unable to look away from the intensity and humor of Alissa Nutting’s bizarre and magnetic universe.

I know I know!  At this point, I’m just gushing, but seriously, do yourself a favor and read this book.  Some folks may find it disturbing and offensive, but the imagination behind each individual story is just so impressive and unprecedented that even the most conservative of readers should want to adopt Alissa Nutting as the new Dark Queen of the short story.

Continue Reading

What We’re Reading / What You’re Reading 06.14.2013

What We're Reading

It’s time for another Friday edition of the segment where we fill you in on what we’re reading, and we hope that you’ll reciprocate by telling us what you’re enjoying (or loathing) as well.

Don’t be shy, we want to hear from you! Feedback from our followers will play a role in helping us to determine what books to read, review, and feature on this site over the coming months. It will also give us a better idea of the topics and genres that interest you.

Continue Reading