Asunder, By Robert Lopez [Dzanc Books]
Review published by Ampersand Books [01.21.2011]
Robert Lopez’s new collection of short stories Asunder takes readers on a dirty-ash tray trip into the lives of characters more familiar with sex than love. Lopez’s quick-paced narratives usually last the attention span of the Adderall-generation, but the awareness of detail in the stories makes them something much more difficult, more special.
Lester Higata’s 20th Century, Barbara Hamby
Review published by Ampersand Books [06. 25. 2011]
Barbara Hamby’s first collection of short stories, Lester Higata’s 20th Century is a lyrical voyage through the Hawai’i of past ancestors and present ghosts. Throughout the stories, which are almost-magically intertwined, Hamby crafts a narrative of love, loss, and lu’aus. Hamby draws upon the lush Hawaiian landscape, juxtaposing it against the gritty reality of her characters. The collection is maintained by a very deep connection and respect to Hawaiian fault-lined history, because “When Lester was a boy his father used to say to him, The dead have many things to tell us.”