Ariel Schrag's contributions to this anthology (which bookend the volume, if I remember correctly) are the best thing about it. I especially loved theAriel Schrag's contributions to this anthology (which bookend the volume, if I remember correctly) are the best thing about it. I especially loved the piece in which she and her friend Ronica (who we also meet in Awkward and Definition) get lost on AC Transit. There were some other good pieces, such as ones by Daniel Clowes, Dash Shaw, and Gabrielle Bell. Many of the short comics are a bit of a hot mess though, even for autobiographical takes on the horrors of middle school....more
Like most anthologies (especially ones that are so restrictive in terms of time period and subject matter) this volume contains a fairly diverse assorLike most anthologies (especially ones that are so restrictive in terms of time period and subject matter) this volume contains a fairly diverse assortment of pieces. Some were fantastic, others were a bit boring for me, but I do believe there is something in there for everyone. I was pleasantly surprised to see different genres being represented throughout, although personally I felt like there were too many nonfiction stories and too many stories told in the first person in general. It also would've been nice to see a short play or excerpt of one. Nevertheless, I liked seeing so many different regions covered. It's interesting because if this was an anthology for New Texas Writing (and there totally needs to be one) I would've liked seeing the book divided specifically into different regions or at least the pieces to be grouped that way. But I'm not sure California as a state really warrants that.
I didn't finish every story. If it wasn't holding my interest by the second page I moved on. I suppose that's one good thing about anthologies except that I honestly prefer to read books all the way through or not read them at all. Here are a few of my favorites: - "Dear Mr. Atende" by Susan Straight - "Ask Me if I Care" by Jennifer Egan (from her novel that just won the Pulitzer, next on my to-read list) - "Polaroids of Tom" by Burlee Vang - "Om" by Chris Abani - "Point Lobos Outlook" by Jim Powell - "This Ain't San Francisco" by Cheryl Klein
The cover looks cool although I'm not sure it's very representative of California, which is somewhat strange.
I was really impressed with a few of these: - "Things You Should Know" by AM Holmes - "Currents" by Hannah Bottomy - "Voices in My Head" by Jack Handey -I was really impressed with a few of these: - "Things You Should Know" by AM Holmes - "Currents" by Hannah Bottomy - "Voices in My Head" by Jack Handey - "The Orange" by Benjamin Rosenbaum - "Crazy Glue" by Etgar Keret + a few others
A mixed bag as always, esp. in an anthology with 80 stories and a wide array of styles. With the shorts I didn't like as much the problem was usually one of three things: 1) the narrative was too vague 2) story seemed too plain 3) payoff at the end was weak.
Good resource for anyone who writes flash though. There is also a section in the back where the publications the stories first appeared in are acknowledged, so you can get a good idea of where a certain style was published. However, many of these were published nearly a decade ago and editorial tastes have no doubt changed.