Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Calyx Review of "Apologoies"

Calyx, a very good literary magazine, just published an intelligent review by Sharon McGill for "Apologies Forthcoming" in their Summer Issue (Volume 25:2). The content is not on-line, but you can probably find a copy in a B&N bookstore or a library.

Here's an excerpt of the review:

        In "Watch the Thrill," one of the eight stories in Xujun Eberlein's debut collection, Apologies Forthcoming, a Chinese official explains his cruelty toward a young boy's father when he states, It's revolution, kiddo, not personal. Each of these tales, mostly set during and immediately after China's Cultural Revolution, explores the truth and the irony of this statement. Eberlein's characters discover that political motives are, in fact, not personal and yet their effects will be -- as the consequences of political action break apart families, turn neighbors into rivals, victims into victimizers. Growing up in Chongqing in the 1960s and '70s, Eberlein witnessed the Cultural Revolution firsthand, and many of these pieces encompass her childhood memories. However, Apologies Forthcoming shines not simply as a fictionalized account of China's recent past, but as a testament to Eberlein's narrative skill in transforming tales of distress about a specific time into universal explorations of loss, betrayal, and hope.

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