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The Baltimore Review - Summer 2005

  • Issue Number: Volume 9 Number 2
  • Published Date: Summer 2005
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual

“The Weight of Bones” I read first because the short story jumped out at me, or rather the skull did, the skull being the main character Ellen finds in her “charred garage.” All I will say is that Ellen took me by surprise from the first moment we met. Then came the nonfiction and equally engaging “My Wild Ride” that taught me how to welcome an unwelcome surprise. To summarize, the mother of two little girls under the age of five receives news that her life is about to change on more than one level. The eight poems are quietly seductive. As I was experiencing their power, I allowed the words time to soak in, take up a life, a meaning of their own. Soon they did, as in the translation “I Refuse To Write About My Heart.” “I can describe anything easily” begins the first line of the first stanza. Continuing in stanza three, line three, “one can go anywhere one chooses / enter any dwelling, any room without a trace, / get into contact with Proust, Ibsen, Madonna…” yet in the last line the heart remains true to the title, it will not allow the narrator access to its words. Seven other poems have the same dream-like quality to them...or perhaps it was me instead who entered another world as I read them. There are five short stories, two essays, an interview with author Rebecca Skloot, who explains her views of the publication process. Three book reviews are included, The Secretkeepers, Little Criminals, and Jane: A Murder, each one rendering a balanced critique. []

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Review Posted on September 30, 2005

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