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Small Spiral Notebook - 2006

  • Issue Number: Volume 3 Issue 1
  • Published Date: 2006
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual

There’s a lot of variety in these average-sized, unspiralled pages—from the elegance of Paul Yoon’s “So That They Do Not Hear Us” to the humor of Ladette Randolph’s wonderful “The Girls” to the stark descriptions of Natasha Radojcic’s “You Don’t Have To Live Here.” No single characteristic defines the stories other than quality. The standouts to me were Yoon’s account of a woman who dives for fish and her friendship with a young neighborhood boy, and Joshua Mandelbaum’s “Yard Work,” which rises above the oft-explored territory of the death of a spouse through the wonderful characterization of Pouklovic, the surviving husband. It’s been a long time since I enjoyed a character as much as Pouklovic and the days he spends laying in his uncut lawn, waiting for the town appointed landscaper to come and cut around his body.  Pouklovic is comic and pathetic, but very real—much like the relationship between Arina, the fisherwoman, and Sinaru, her young friend in “So That They Do Not Hear Us.” The musical cadence of Yoon’s prose builds with each striking sentence. The triumph of “So That They Do Not Hear Us” lies in its ending, where Yoon exposes a fear that may have only been gnawing at the subconscious, then manages to uplift the reader in the last few paragraphs, all without appearing apologetic or sentimental. Small Spiral Notebook avoids such clichés, and, if this issue is any indication, has emerged as a source of varied and vital fiction.


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Review Posted on July 31, 2006

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