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Forgetting English

4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  85 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Midge Raymond Winner of the 2007 Spokane Prize for Short Fiction

Forgetting English explores the indelible imprint of home upon

identity and the ways in which new frontiers both defy and

confirm it. From a biologist navigating the icy moonscape of

Antarctica to a businesswoman seeking refuge in the South Pacific, the characters who inhabit these stories travel for business and
Paperback, 120 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Eastern Washington University
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Nov 27, 2011 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The process of creativity continually intrigues me. Raymond's story plots and settings are similar to mine, yet the voice and execution are completely her own, and it was a delight to sit back and read another writer exploring the issues of travel, landscape, geography, etc., within the context of human relationships. These stories take you from Antarctica to Hawaii, and each one is told in its own voice, which I love. Favorites are "First Sunday," which opens the book, and tells the story of tw ...more
Dec 01, 2009 Ti rated it it was amazing
The Short of It:

This collection of stories is a restorative tonic for the soul.

The Rest of It:

I am not a fan of short fiction but every now and then I give it a try and usually I am disappointed. That said, I was not disappointed by Forgetting English. In fact, I was so mesmerized by the beauty of the writing that I spent an entire morning on the couch enjoying it. From one story to the next, I found myself completely and utterly absorbed. Each story is so different and yet there are common the
Nov 05, 2011 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Forgetting English is a slim volume of haunting short stories. These are stories of loss, of deep emotion, and of women trying to find their way forward. The language is lyrical — poetic in places — and the stories were lovely to read. Author Midge Raymond provides a very short but entertaining collection.

“The lanterns bob gently as they drift out to sea, some extinguished by waves or by the splash of other lanterns swimming past. Paige sees shapes of light hovering above the water — probably th
This is a fine collection of short stories (Spokane Prize Winner, published by Press 53). I enjoyed the settings around the world -- Taiwan, Tonga, Antarctica, etc. -- and the great characters. The stories explore fidelity as well as the ties that bind us, drawing us back from attempts to reinvent ourselves. A great read.

Here's a more complete review: Review of Forgetting English
Alison Madden
Sep 02, 2011 Alison Madden rated it it was amazing
I could not stop turning the pages of this book. This collection of stories is a real page-turner. I wanted to read one story per night, and pace myself, instead I kept going and going to find out what was going to happen to the characters in each story. I love travel too, and new perspectives of different cities and countries, so I loved this collection of stories set in different far-off places!
Feb 21, 2012 Ronald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A collection of superbly written short stories that hum with humanity (sorry!), dazzle with their variety, and just made me marvel at the ability of the author to both entertain me and enlighten me. A glimpse of life through someone else's glasses.
Susan Zoino
Mar 18, 2013 Susan Zoino rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I heard Ms. Raymond speak at AWP on a panel about women and travel writing (fiction)and immediately bought the book. I particularly liked the story "Lost Art," but what I liked about all of them was how different each narrator was.
David Hicks
Apr 22, 2014 David Hicks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A perfectly wrought collection of stories, the best I've read this year. Raymond deftly brings her sweetly flawed characters to situations where they can screw up, and when they do, we love them all the more.
Erika Dreifus
An excellent short story collection. See my detailed review on the Fiction Writers Review site.
Jul 17, 2015 Cathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice collection.
Andy Miller
Nov 24, 2012 Andy Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great collection of short stories, to be honest they are better than most stories I read in the bigtime publications like the New Yorker and Best American Short Stories.

The stories are all set overseas and center on a young, independent, and complex women who for a variety of reasons are out of the country. More important, the young women are all interesting and likable.

Her great writing is shown in the first sentence of her first story,First Sunday. "He lives in his mother's house, wi
Nov 15, 2009 Dawn rated it liked it
3.5 stars... A (short) short story collection centered around the theme of travel, or feeling like a foreigner in another country, disconnection, etc. Synopses:

- A career-driven woman visits her sister in Tonga, who has decided to stay after serving there in the Peace Corps.

- A woman joins her husband on a business trip to Japan and regrets her decision to have an abortion.

- A woman studying penguins in the Antarctic finds a lost tourist who was left behind by his cruise ship.

- A couple vacation
In a collection of short stories shuffling between many narrators, places and time periods, Midge Raymond’s Forgetting English offers readers vignettes with a common theme: every story involves a stranger in a strange land. Some are suffering identity crises. Others are smarting from relationships gone awry, or preparing for a painful divorce. Some stumble into illicit love affairs while other search desperately for a connection in a frozen wasteland. Regardless of where they start out, how we l ...more
Kim V
Sep 24, 2009 Kim V rated it it was amazing
: Forgetting English by Midge Raymond is an exquisite thematic collection of short stories. The stories describe women in exterior and interior transit. The characters face a myriad of crossroads such as, divorce, infidelity, unemployment, abortion, and attempted suicide while a moonlight mile from home.

Each story deftly details the characters’ impact and adaptation to their foreign surroundings. Raymond’s masterful prose transports the reader to various locales including Antarctica, Japan, and
Apr 22, 2009 Gayle rated it really liked it
When I read a story, I like to go someplace strange, foreign, different. Raymond took me there, many of her stories being set in places like Africa, Japan, Antarctica, Hawaii. And the nice thing about being someplace exotic is discovering the things familiar, which Raymond pulls off with her lovely spare detail. More than visiting places, she charts the terra incognita of human relationships. Every story in this collection is solid, not surprising with a writer who's landed in litmags the rest o ...more
Mar 05, 2010 Betsy rated it really liked it
This is a 4.5 star review.

I LOVED this short story collection. Loved.

Each story is a travel experience to somewhere different, and each person is at a turning point in his/her life. I really enjoyed that continuing theme throughout the story collection, but also that the stories are quite different.

I would LOVE to see ANY of these stories lengthened to a novel if Ms. Raymond decided to go that route. I do indeed feel that she embodies her characters well, I'm not saying that she doesn't flesh th
Jennifer S. Brown
Jun 23, 2009 Jennifer S. Brown rated it it was amazing
I have to preface my comments on this book by letting you know that Midge is a friend of mine; we worked together at Boston University, writing for their alumni publications, and she's an amazing, warm, wonderful person and I adore her writing. So let me say off the bat, this may not be unbiased, but I'm trying.

This collection of stories takes us around the world: Africa, Japan, Antarctica, to name a few. But the locations are merely flavor; the heart of these stories are the relationships betwe
This was my very first, First-Reads book from Goodreads. That made it very exciting. Inside was a personal note from the author. The writing style of this book is lovely. Each of her short stories flow beauitfully, even though the point-of-views and styles are all different. The stories are tales of women who are trying their best to deal with challenges in life. Most of the stories include some sexual mishap, which I don't really approve of, but I felt like that was just an add-on to the underl ...more
Mar 17, 2009 Nic rated it it was amazing
Midge is a dear friend and I'm so thrilled her first collection looks so good. But what I've learned since actually opening the book is that she is an incredibly good writer - and these stories really take you to exotic locales, while probing the heart of what makes us us. A marvelous read!

For me, the test of a great short story is whether it sticks to the roof of your brain. Is it memorable? I'm delighted to report that so many of these stories are real gems.

Midge teaches in Seattle, Washington
Amy Hourigan
Feb 08, 2009 Amy Hourigan rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one day, neglecting my job, my husband and my children. The stories, which were completely different (either this author is extremely well-traveled or she has a fantastic imagination) sucked me right in. I was laughing out lound in parts and fighting back tears in others. I hope to read more from this author. Any one of these stories would make a great novel or novella. I ended each story wanting to know more about the characters' lives. Not since Jumpa Lahiri have I enjoyed ...more
Mar 28, 2016 Margaret rated it really liked it
This is a Bookcrossing book and my review may be read here:
Jul 23, 2009 Brian rated it really liked it
This is a really compelling collection of stories, especially for anyone who has ever had experience traveling or living abroad. It captures a lot of the simultaneous comfort and discomfort of isolation. The characters are terribly imperfect but even at their worst (sometimes especially at their worst), I found I could sympathize.
I loved this book so much that I bought copies as Christmas gifts for several friends and family members. It was a very diverse group of folk who received the books and they all loved it. I'm looking forward to teaching this book in a "Contemporary Literature" course I'm taeching at Pacific Lutheran University in early 2012.
Aug 19, 2009 Carmen rated it liked it
Well-written stories that draw you in, with very flawed characters (why does everyone have to be cheating?). A few of which I cared about, a few of which I didn't. If you like short stories, this is a good quick read.
Jul 01, 2009 Stacey rated it it was amazing
What a great book of short stories. An especially enjoyable summer read. You get great glimpses of traveling the world as a back drop for these interesting stories about interesting women.
Apr 15, 2009 Danielle rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
check out my review here:
Jan 27, 2011 Lynn rated it liked it
I will be writing a review of this over at my blog:
Jennifer Redmond
Jul 26, 2010 Jennifer Redmond rated it really liked it
Loved this book!
Jul 21, 2010 Mariya marked it as to-read
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Midge Raymond's short-story collection, Forgetting English, received the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction. Her stories have appeared in TriQuarterly, American Literary Review, Indiana Review, North American Review, Bellevue Literary Review, the Los Angeles Times magazine, and many other publications.

Her debut novel, MY LAST CONTINENT, is forthcoming from Scribner in 2016.

Midge is also the author o
More about Midge Raymond...

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