Short Stories All the Time

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... a few of my thoughts about 900, mostly contemporary, short stories.
Showing posts with label Greenslit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greenslit. Show all posts

29 August, 2014

Sara Greenslit, "As If a Bird Flew By Me"

This really short novel, novella, long short story, poetic fiction/non-fiction, is about Celia, a contemporary lesbian woman and her 17th century ancestor, Ann, a woman executed for witchcraft. I love the way the natural world, especially birds, are incorporated as well as the musical analogies. Evidently, the Salem aspects of the story are based on actual documents.

Migration is a recurring theme. After reading, I felt as if I knew less and more about being a human animal and in a strange way comforted with that realization. The rhythm of "As If a Bird Flew By" echoes the rhythms in the natural world, human and otherwise, poetic, cruel, stupid and luscious.

And how are we connected to our histories? Or are we? Maybe we are fulfilling our ancestors desires? There are also many scientific terms, medical terms perhaps, sprinkled throughout which also gives the "novella" a didactic quality.

Favorite lines:
"The neighbor ran over it--it's getting even closer to dirt now, now it's flat--and the crow stays, more of a feathered platter each day, the tires of the car revisiting the torso as it to say flight had always been a bad idea."

"The world is full of continuous conversations: Now is surrounded by Past, and both are encircled by Forever."

"The dead are all around us."

"What one can learn by walking the same land where ancestors used to live--"

"The body is not an object or a noun, but rather a verb."

"Would life take a different turn and feel with a different name?"

Links:
newspaper article about Greenslit

(note to self: I checked this out of the public library)