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Where the Dog Star Never Glows

4.56  ·  Rating Details ·  89 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
In this impressive debut collection, Tara Masih shows an intimate sense of understanding her characters' innermost feelings, creating a memorable map of diverse characters that span the globe and several eras. Ghosts dance, butterflies swarm, men crystallize, the sun disappears, and water plays a role in both destruction and repair of the soul. With an unflinching eye, a m ...more
Paperback, First Edition, 164 pages
Published February 15th 2010 by Press 53 (first published 2010)
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Feb 23, 2010 Cynthia rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful new voice! These charming stories take you all over the globe; the American Northeast, India, the Caribbean, Belgium, etc. They also take you to many shadings of the human heart. Most of the stories have sadness but also hope and often a discovery of a different way for people to relate to one another, a deeper understanding and support emerges between the characters. Some images stand out. In one story two aging fathers come together after the funeral for one man's middle aged ...more
Nov 26, 2010 Teresa rated it it was amazing
These stories are extraordinary in their breadth and scope, taking us to different parts of the world, and even different time periods, never hitting a false note. But, most importantly, at least from my point of view, their focus is always on the human heart.
Meg Pokrass
Oct 06, 2011 Meg Pokrass rated it it was amazing
"Where The Dog Star Never Glows" by Tara Masih is a masterful collection of short fiction. Haunting in its microscopic investigation of love, sensuality, loss, this writer is a humanist with a visual artist's ability to paint with words. The stories are studies in what can be accomplished with an elegant brevity, a trademark of Masih's complex vision. This collection gives us intense, personal, nearly cellular observations of people and we feel we know them, or ARE them. Her characters are fragi ...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Rating: Loved times loved equals loved infinity.  Totally a top 10 of 2011.

Review: I am not a short story girl.  (Embarrassing, but true.)  I don't know why, but short fiction usually feels too abrupt for me, or a little too subtle-exploration-of-the-human-psyche, or too vignette-y.  However, this collection of short stories has me completely reconsidering the genre.

Simply, the stories were great.  Nothing super fancy in terms of plot or characterization, but at the end of each story, I just sto
Feb 11, 2010 Jake rated it really liked it
Whether being made or broken, connections play a critical role in Where the Dog Star Never Glows. Each of Tara L. Masih’s stories in this collection can be defined by their linkage of the protagonist to other people or to places. But it is not as simple as making a love connection and living happily ever after. Some of the protagonists do seek a better half. Others seem cursed by connections that have grown stale and bothersome. In every case the result is engaging storytelling, rich in mood and ...more
Jan 18, 2010 Suzanne rated it really liked it
It's always a pleasure to discover a new voice, especially one as fresh as that of Tara Masih. The writing in her slim debut collection, "Where the Dog Star Never Glows" is beautiful, and I loved all of the flora and fauna that shows up in these stories - a hummingbird buzzing from hibiscus bush to persimmon tree, sea fans and anemones waving in underwater currents, wild balckbirds caterwauling in palm trees, etc. Masih's range is also very impressive - coal miners in the 1800s, a ghost town in ...more
Jan 01, 2010 Angela rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Although this collection was written over a period of years, it flows fluidly from one tale to the next, without a hint of unevenness often displayed by writers learning their craft. Always poetic, these stories cling to the constant themes of family, nature, self-discovery, and intimacy.

In the title story, "Where the Dog Star Never Glows," the narrative switches from past to present, weaving together a life, as rich as D.H. Lawrence's SONS AND LOVERS, and as close to nature as Jack London's "Ho
Mar 21, 2011 Beth rated it it was amazing
After hearing great things about Tara Masih's debut work from numerous sources, I decided to buy her book. And I'm very glad I did. This collection of short stories came as quite a surprise; the prose is beautifully sparse and at times poetic, and she hones in on the glory of nature in unique ways.

From The Caribbean, to Belgium, to India and beyond, these stories capture razor-sharp moments, emotions, and observations that are as believable as warm soil, and somehow magical at the same time. Hig
Dec 16, 2010 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mikki
What to say! This is a wonderful story collection, set in many locations and times, focusing on the ways people relate, or try to relate, to the world around them. The settings are sometimes lush, sometimes spare, always living, breathing characters. I was blown away by this book.

Very highly recommended.
Nov 17, 2010 Marc rated it it was amazing
The first thing that will strike anyone who reads Where the Dog Star Never Glows is the absolute precision of author Tara L. Masih’s prose. Throughout this collection of short stories, Masih firmly establishes herself as a master of what Gustave Flaubert (among others, including Nelson Muntz) described as le mot juste. Hers is a vocabulary wide-ranging enough to speak with studied expertise on matters ranging from tourist traps in tropical climes to the last moments of old men in tired coal mini ...more
Dec 31, 2009 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
PW online review:

". . . Masih’s stories are minimally but skillfully detailed—no last names, vague settings—giving extra weight to simple, recurring phenomena like water and color (“the evening’s August melon light”). Striking and resonant, this collection should prove memorable . . ."

". . . nothing short of extraordinary."

"Again and again, she accomplishes this sort of wonderful accuracy, this imagistic veracity .
Li Miao
Jan 06, 2011 Li Miao rated it it was amazing
Going from one story to another in Where the Dog Star Never Glows, I am transported convincingly to different times and places. And that’s what is refreshing about Tara's collection; you can’t peg her as a writer of a certain ethnicity. Her stories span the globe, and through the longings of her characters you see the universal struggle to live with the circumstances they’re presented: marital struggles, solitude and desire, the death of fathers and husbands. My favorite, “Ghost Dance,” about a ...more
Jul 25, 2013 Ken rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The stories in this collection span a range of settings, from the Caribbean and Puerto Rico to the Netherlands to Rajkot, India. Masih's beautifully descriptive prose does justice to all these settings, capturing the chatter of frogs, the eerie light of an eclipse, or the intricate swirls of a henna hand painting with dexterity. The real focus of the stories, however, is relationships--ones that are ordinary and yet unusual, broken and healed. I enjoyed all the stories, so it's hard to pick favo ...more
Apr 04, 2010 Sherri rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful collection of stories! My favorites include “The Dark Sun,” “Champagne Water,” “Sunday Drives,” and “Delight.” Each of these focus on the quiet, terrifying moments in our lives when we realize that love is either lost or found and must decide what comes next. In other stories such as “Asylum,” “Say, Bridgitte, Please,” and “Where the Dog Star Never Glows,” the main characters are grappling with suppressed emotions that will inevitably overwhelm them, if not within the pages of t ...more
Nov 11, 2010 Veronica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
I love the depth and breath. Many of the stories will lead you in a direction and then as suddenly as it started turn you on your side, and you never know where the author is going to take you be it an adventure in a different land,culture or mind. How can one be so in touch with so many emotions that pull at your heart again and again. I am truly awe of the skill of the writer. I hope to see addtional works coming!
Feb 24, 2010 Henry rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, literary
This anthology was one of the best surprises I got last year. I'd never read much literary fiction before, but I found myself enjoying most, if not all, the stories here. It certainly wet my appetite for more! My top three in this anthology would have to be "The Burnings", "Asylum", and "Delight", although several others come close. Emotionally powerful, this is a highly absorbing and, above all, enjoyable collection. I highly recommend it to readers and other writers.
Jun 22, 2010 Shaindel rated it it was amazing
Tara Masih's short story collection, Where The Dog Star Never Glows, continually amazed me. After nearly each story, I couldn't help thinking, "I wish I'd written that." Some favorite stories in this collection are "Say Bridgette, Please," and "Delight." Definitely a must-read for anyone studying the craft of short story writing.
This is a rich collection that takes us from cold US mining towns to the Mexican desert, from Dominica to India. Her stories often display a special sense of subtlety regarding colonialism, race, migration, disability, and deep inter-generational legacy. All of this is done with an avoidance of sentimentality. Despite a bit of unevenness in a few areas, there is much to move you here.
Tara Chevrestt
Jul 11, 2010 Tara Chevrestt rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010-release
This is a book of short stories and I'm going to use the term bittersweet to describe it because each story has some amount of sadness (bitter parts) in it, but with the sadness is also some joy (sweet parts).

For full review, pictures, and a recipe click the link below:
Vivek Tejuja
Mar 29, 2011 Vivek Tejuja rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: dena
Recommended to Vivek by: skrishna
So here is the deal: I think it is very difficult to write a short story than a novel and it is true. A Novel probably has more life than a story and for an author to successfully manage to engrain a story in the reader’s head is a task of great proportions. I for one love the short story reading as a genre. What I most enjoy is the writer’s capability to say it all in a span of say three pages or sometimes even lesser than that. Someone once asked me if I had read Ulysses by Joyce and I promptl ...more
Mar 10, 2011 Bill rated it really liked it
I was quite impressed by everything about this collection. The settings are diverse, often exotic, sometimes bordering on mystical. The plots are quite diverse as well, and explore a wide range of emotions. In each case, the author demonstrates that her understanding of the character and the emotion is deep and empathetic. The characters are well developed, even though the stories are just a few pages long. They are people caught in a moment of life and coming to terms with the situations in whi ...more
Apr 15, 2012 Jenn rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, for-review
Upon the recommendation of Brendan, I somewhat reluctantly started reading these short stories. Now, I say reluctantly not because I don't trust Brendan as I trust his choices for me implicitly. I say reluctantly because he made me step out of my comfort zone. I usually read horror, mystery, thrillers and even the occasional romance. These stories are hard to categorize. They seem worldly, folksy and autobiographical all at the same time. They bellow with tears of joy and pain. They tell stories ...more
Mary Larkin
Dec 29, 2013 Mary Larkin rated it it was amazing
Where The Dog Star Never Glows

Here's my review from of Masih's masterful collection:

Masih's stories are spun gold. An acute observer and recorder of the heart, she charts the territory of lovers, husbands and wives, families, neighbors, or the loner. She shares an intimate knowledge of these characters, revealing the interior workings of their psyches. These are stories with fast moving rivers, people searching for themselves in foreign lands, the struggle to survive, stories of grief
Feb 17, 2010 Myfanwy rated it it was amazing
An elegant, thoughtful collection. My favorite story in the collection was "The Dark Sun" within which was a paragraph that seemed to encapsulate the entire collection filled with women on the verge. The protagonist muses about a news item she read in which a mysterious woman sleeps in her car: "Who was she, I ask, that did what so many women want to do? Just get in the car, and drive; drive to another place, another spot, with clean gloves and a clean car, no mess, no bother, no one in pursuit, ...more
Sep 04, 2012 Pamela rated it it was amazing
Tara Masih is unafraid to enter other minds and travel in other worlds. The protagonists in her story collection include a healer in Dominica, an American coal miner, the daughter of a mentally ill woman, an Indian bride, and a "sin eater" who ritually takes upon himself the wrong-doings of members of a rural community. In every case, Masih is quietly, patiently persuasive. Her deep attentiveness to detail and her love of nature result in stories that are strongly rooted even when the figures wh ...more
Feb 16, 2010 Brad rated it really liked it
The setting of each story in this collection carries the weight of almost being another character. Too often setting becomes just a platform by which we present our characters, but Tara weaves imagery and symbolism into her environments in a way that makes me believe not only would no other settings be appropriate for the people in these stories, but that these people could not exist in other locations and still be the same emotionally rich and sometimes beautifully flawed characters they are.
Jan 05, 2010 Terri rated it it was amazing
Where the Dog Star Never Glows by Tara L. Masih is an absolutely first-rate short story collection. Every story is a gem. Honestly, every line is a gem! The characters are well-drawn and memorable, and the places both familiar and exotic, are so well-defined, you feel like the author must have lived in each and every one of them! The Dog Star may not glow everywhere, but these stories certainly will... I highly recommend this stunning collection.
Nov 17, 2010 Tara rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story collection. I was particularly drawn to the stories about women and love or loss of love---my favorites were Say Bridgitte Please, The Dark Sun, Asylum, Champagne Water and Delight. The author has a real gift for writing about those subtle shifts in relationships that mean a very great deal.
May 10, 2010 Vincent rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I had the good fortune to take a one day flash fiction workshop from Tara. Not only was she a good facilitator but I had an opportunity to interact and hear writing from some very talented writers.

I wrote down some thoughts about the book for my blog:
Don Mitchell
Jul 07, 2010 Don Mitchell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly short set of short-stories. Either that, or I was so involved it seemed short. Kindles distort size perception.

Very poignant stories, but I was left wanting some of them to be longer and deeper. I'd like to see how this author develops full-length stories. Some of these characters are worthy of whole novels, yet I was left feeling that the author may not have been capable of a full-length exposition.

Two of the stories in particular deserve a read and perhaps full novels: The title s
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Tara L. Masih is editor of the Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction (a ForeWord Book of the Year), The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays (winner of a Skipping Stones Honor Award; a New England Book Festival award; a Benjamin Franklin silver medal award; and a ForeWord Book of the Year Award), and author of Where the Dog Star Never Glows, a National Best Books Award f ...more
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“Being a doctor he didn't want for choices, but also being a doctor he understood the fragility of bone and sinew that encompassed the even more fragile organ of the heart. He envisioned Therese's as being wound in intricate, tight, vinelike veins that he would slowly make sense of and unravel.” 8 likes
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