Kristina Marie Darling’s poetry collection, Fortress, is “image-rich” and wonderfully allusive. The setting is the famously decadent palace of Versailles. Like the film Marie Antoinette, “Darling’s book is simultaneously excess and desolation,” writes Sandra Marchetti. White spaces are used strategically in this “lush” book of poems.
Next, the “detached narrator” of Amado Muro’s Collected Stories focuses his attention outward on a world that may resonate with Mexican and Mexican-American readers, a world of street markets, villages south of the border, crop fields and missions. Richard Z. Santos writes that, in Muro’s collection, “illusions are often stronger than reality.” When Santos learns more of the author’s background, complex questions of identity and cultural assimilation become impossible to ignore.
Lastly, in the Sunday Rumpus Essay, Amy Monticello describes the emotionally turbulent time after her father’s death and the knowledge of impending motherhood. As the “executrix” of her father’s estate, Monticello casts her imagination into the distance, searching for a place to scatter his ashes. The “isolating” quality of sorrow becomes another cause for anxiety. Monticello writes:
Grief is a protracted suspension of reality, or a different reality altogether. The very idea of new life had become impossible in both ruinous and radiant ways. Biology was akin to magic.