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Gay Dwarves of America by Anne Fleming

Gay Dwarves of America (edition 2012)

by Anne Fleming

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Title:Gay Dwarves of America
Authors:Anne Fleming
Info:Pedlar Press (2012), Paperback, 290 pages
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Gay Dwarves of America by Anne Fleming



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Have I mentioned lately that I love Anne Fleming’s writing? (I would say I love her, but we’ve never met and are facebook friends, and that feels a bit awkward). Reading her recently released short story collection Gay Dwarves of America was a bittersweet experience for me, because I knew once I finished it, I wouldn’t have anything new to read by her until her next book came out. As in Fleming’s other work, Pool-Hopping and Other Stories (her first collection that was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction) and Anomaly (a critically acclaimed novel born out of one of the stories from Pool-Hopping), Gay Dwarves—I’ll get to this awesome title momentarily—peels away the layers of everyday people in everyday situations to reveal their surprising peculiarities. Or perhaps these peculiarities are not so shocking, considering what we all figure out when we get to know new folks: everyone’s pretty weird, right? Fleming shows us that, in fact, it’s our eccentricities, in all their diverse glory, which make us human; in fact, they’re what we all have in common...

See the rest of the review on my website: http://caseythecanadianlesbrarian.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/a-collection-at-once-... ( )
  CaseyStepaniuk | Nov 30, 2012 |
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

It's been a while since we've heard from our friends at Pedlar Press, a small Canadian publisher dedicated to experimental yet mainstream-accessible work, and who are right now putting out some of the best designed mass-produced paperbacks in the entire Western indie world; but their latest recently showed up here not too long ago, Anne Fleming's story collection Gay Dwarves of America, and I have to admit that this may be one of the best ones they've put out yet. See, unlike most of the Pedlar titles I've reviewed here, Fleming's manuscript doesn't start out deeply experimental and then with crowdpleasing aspects added to it, but is instead a collection of mainstream stories about such banal subjects as suburban teenagers acting stupid while bored, then adds an engaging experimentalism to the dialogue, style and even plot turns, making this a highly entertaining yet dark-tinged and thought-provoking tome, the kind of extremely well-written human-interest fiction you might otherwise see at a place like McSweeney's. A bit too precious here and there, which is why it isn't getting a higher score (I could've done without the story containing just one word per page, for example), it's nonetheless a highly readable and satisfying collection from a press known precisely for such collections, and comes today with a big recommendation.

Out of 10: 9.0 ( )
  jasonpettus | Jul 20, 2012 |
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