[PDF] Wild Life By Kathy Fish – serv3.3pub.co.uk

[PDF] Wild Life By Kathy Fish – serv3.3pub.co.uk [BOOKS] ✯ Wild Life By Kathy Fish – Serv3.3pub.co.uk Wild Life is a collection thirty four 34 undomesticated flash fiction piecesKeep this book on your bedside table Dog ear it until all the pages are folded Read it in the bath teach it store it in your Wild Life is a collection thirty four undomesticated flash fiction piecesKeep this book on your bedside table Dog ear it until all the pages are folded read it in the bath teach it store it in your bag recite it on street corners When people stop to ask you what you are doing tell them that you are reading aloud from a collection by the best flash fiction writer in America Amelia Gray Author of AMPM and Museum of The Weird“People often say the purpose of flash fiction is to shine a spotlight to illuminate to light up our lives a flash of insight This to me has always seemed a dull reason to do anything much less write or read flash fiction And I think Kathy Fish proves the point here in this book Who cares what she may teach us in flashes of blinding light or otherwise in these stories so carefully built so wonderfully turned of phrase What Kathy does is expose us not to insight but to mystery She puts us in the middle of these worlds she’s made and says Look what I’ve seen And then when we do when we come to these stories’ ends we shudder with confusion and love” Joseph Young Author of Easter Rabbit and Name.


10 thoughts on “Wild Life

  1. Nate D Nate D says:

    Honestly I'm a little nonplussed with Flash Fiction Even when filled with scalpel sharp bits of description and haunting or resonant moments like these they seem to end uickly too really be felt Each flashes briefly and then is swallowed up by dark unconnected to the fragments before and after besides perhaps by a few thematic threads But then I tend to prefer novels over stories in most cases as well even within a single author's workAlso what exactly separates flash fiction from prose poetry? Era and prevailing literary ideas? They seem to overlap uite a bit in actual form At least with shorter flash fiction examples The ones that run longer than a page seem entirely like very short short stories but in come ways the bare suggestion of story in the shortest makes for the most intriguing uses of the form


  2. Kathy Kathy says:

    Two recent reviews of Wild Life A review by Richard Thomas at Outsider Writers Collective and at review by Roxane Gay at Beyond the Margins


  3. Myfanwy Myfanwy says:

    If you're like me when you finish the brilliant new chapbook Wild Life just about every other page will be dog eared From the prodigal brother eating watermelon in the dark to the Payless shoe store clerk who may or may not be a child abductor to the couple with the new bed you will turn the last page of this book and feel as though you have entered a truly beautiful and brilliant mind And that mind belongs to the book's author Kathy Fish Fish's wry humor keen vision and deft language will leaving you laughing one minute and crying the next She is not manipulative with her words She does not scream her stories She does not thrust them down your throat She offers them to you uietly She offers them to you as a whispered prayer In fact what she does is trust you with her uniue and precious giftTake for example One Purple Finch a gentle and unexpected love story that is utterly complex in its beautiful simplicity He would make pancakes for her with berries and honey And she would life the hem of her skirt And she would build him a fire And he would make her a card drawing a picture on the front of trees and one purple finch And they would look at each other at the end of the day and say now what should we do? We should be friends forever and hold each other's hands and tell each other when we have something stuck between our teeth and trade anecdotes and say oh you told me this before but I love hearing you tell it so tell it to me again And you should untie my sneakers when I am weary and I will wear the silky auamarine robe when you want me toAll of the pieces in this book moved me in some way but the one that will not ever let me go is Spin which is about a mother and her young child As a teacher tries to get the mother to redirect her child and teach him how to conform to a certain way of learning she remembers her past life mourns her imagined present and learns to live in the moment and the successes that seem small but are immeasurable I would argue that this story will push its way into even the hardest heart and that once the reader gets to the end he will understand this mother's heartache and her incredible love When she finished she found him lying flat under the sofa cushions She wondered if she was supposed to unbury him She sat on the floor and leaned in as close as she could She felt the boy's breath on her face It smelled like applesHello in there she whisperedThis book is a gift and I hope you will read it


  4. Tara Tara says:

    You have to write flash fiction to know how damn good Kathy Fish is she makes it look so effortless But it takes a lot of skill to produce the little gems she writes This is a wonderful flash collection Loved the stories the depth and the originality and even the cover


  5. Richard Thomas Richard Thomas says:

    ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT OUTSIDER WRITERS COLLECTIVEIn Kathy Fish’s slim volume of flash and micro fiction stories Wild Life she splits the collection into two halves the first entitled Wild “The lioness is crouching” and the second entitled Life “Grundy Triplets Perish Unnecessarily” And there is a reason for this While both sections deal with family even though the subtitle to the collection is “a collection of undomesticated flash fictions” the first part has a feeling of chaos and a lack of control while the second part hints at the day to day events and mundane entertainments that we often take for grantedWildLifeKathy Fish is at her best when she mixes a blend of bitter and sweet to create an air of nostalgia sentiment and understanding The first story in this collection is entitled “Watermelon” Take this excerpt for example“You left anyway hitchhiked all the way to Houston and one night months later we looked up and saw you at the table eating watermelon in the dark”She focuses on the relationship between two brothers which eventually descends into mockery and violence that’s just what brothers do—sisters sometimes too But underneath the words and the sharp tongues there is usually a layer of love and loss and longing When you say “I never liked you ugliestworstmosthorrible brother ever” what you really mean is “stay”Later in “The Cartoonist” she shows how in only a handful of sentences she can create a vivid tapestry—weaving family setting and emotions together As a family sits around the dinner table a mundane event if ever there was one a crow flies down the chimney Chaos ensues But if you listen closely you’ll hear the father say “sit down you lunatic” to his frantic wife the last line slipping through your fingertips to punch you in the gut“Big brother in the shadows slumped against the doorway his baggy jeans and narrowed eyes Draw him smaller than everything else”So much weight in those last two sentences so much life packed into this one moment of undoingAnd that’s part of what makes this sixty six page book so rich Observations unfold into prose poetry long sentences stretching out into conversations that layer on meaning and depth Pay attention you don’t want to miss a word Who else but a writer disguised as a poet or maybe a poet disguised as a writer could call a sick son who thrashes on the couch “post apocalypse” to invent a new juxtaposition of words that makes you pause to consider what is happening in front of you nodding your head wishing you had written that phraseEvery time I relaxed and faded into the scenes on the page I was rewarded with a punishing turn of phrase that left me muttering to myself caught unaware once again This from “Cancer Arm”“It’s Thanksgiving and you are six years old Your knee socks are pulled up over your kneecaps Rusty your Golden Retriever is under the table and now and then you drop a piece of turkey on the floor for him What you’d really like is a Tollhouse cookie or some muskmelon cut into chunks You think Rusty’s distended stomach is from eating too much though in truth he hardly eats at all He won’t make it to Christmas and neither will your father Everyone knows this but you”Have you been here? Ever come home from college asking “Where’s Whiskers?” only to get sad eyes that won’t meet your uestion the water bowl no longer sitting in the utility room To be a child and to lose a pet it’s such a devastating experience—to lose a parent even worse For a second take the pain that you know is coming to sit with that child and place it suarely in the chest of the surviving parent in this case the mother Now you see what has been shownSometimes life is just cruel I have a soft spot for kittens and puppies I mean really who doesn’t? But I also have a morbid sense of curiosity Don’t you look at the road kill when you pass the furry mess on the side of the road wondering to yourself “What was that? Raccoon? Possum? Cat? Oh please don’t let that be a cat” I can’t think of much that is unsettling than the way that a relationship is whittled down to the bare bones in “Tenderoni” as a couple discusses a furry gray mess a dead kitten fighting over how best to deal with this mess and in one moment the whole relationship dissolves like the sticky fluff on the side of the gravel road nothing certain in a world like thisKathy Fish has the uncanny ability to reduce life’s most intimate and revealing moments into a flash of insight and wisdom Wild Life is a touching bittersweet unsettling collection of stories that sits in the pit of your stomach like a family member home for the holidays stirring everything up


  6. Kella Kella says:

    Almost weekly I read SmokeLong uarterly with massive admiration and literary lust When I applied for this literary magazine's Kathy Fish Fellowship last year for this year's 2016 fellowship I was pleased as punch to get to the second round of selections top 78 writers out of 300 flash fiction writers I'll take it So this summer before I applied again for the 2017 Kathy Fish Fellowship in September 2016 I made it my J O B to read lots of Lydia Davis and Kathy Fish to conjure their writerly mojo and learn from these short form masters Fish's collection Wild Life did not disappoint Starry night snogging momma loving and appreciating her autistic son imperfect yet loving family relationships where the only daughter of the family finds herself at a neighborhood bar and allows a bar matron to take her Walgreens necklace shopping and much much This collection reads like prose poetry and made me think as a writer and reader how to better mine my childhood my youth the weird meanderings of my 20s 30s and soon to be 40s for the stories that stick like a tiny fly in amber


  7. Marcus Speh Marcus Speh says:

    This book is a gem No that's clichéd though it's true The book is harder sharper stronger; it's a weapon to help you tame the beasts that Kathy Fish has unleashed on the page Many of these beasts aren't animals at all they're human and that is what Fish does so very well humanity My favorite stories are near the end Spin The Bed and Tenderoni — they're about the struggle to get close to one another Wild Life in Kathy Fish's magical world of very short stories is a very large world in which we live infinitely far away from one another but don't like it If at the end of the book you still feel as alone as you may have done before you started then the stories aren't to blame A wonderful collection of wisdom


  8. J. A. J. A. says:

    Kathy Fish’s previous collection sat amidst the other also stellar words in Rose Metal’s A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness Four Chapbooks of Short Short Fiction by Four Women and her words there made me eager for her words elsewhere Luckily through the new editorial hands of Matter Press run by the esteemed author Randall Brown we have this new book to fill our need Wild Life a collection of undomesticated flash fictions Read the full review interview at Monkeybicycle


  9. David Hicks David Hicks says:

    Clear cutting prose from a deft honest writer I'm not in general a fan of flash fiction but these stories were incisive and insightful I found myself taking a break after most of the stories to digest each one so a book I could have read in a day actually took me a week Her name is Kathy Fish but from now on I'll be referring to her as Grandmaster Flash


  10. Steve Steve says:

    Kathy Fish's collection Wild Life is divided into halves first a set of stories gathered under the heading “Wild” and a second under “Life” In a surprise to no one familiar with my reading habitsobsessions I preferred “Wild” to “Life” which based on a number of other reviews on Goodreads puts me in the minority The earlier stories are often set in the outdoors and involve wild places and creatures but than that there’s a wildness to the stories themselves They’re moments of myth making tucked into what seem like otherwise ordinary lives featuring events in which characters’ lives point toward stories of themselves larger than what actually happensNot to be predictable but I’d like to offer two bits about bears to show what I mean In “Land and Sky and Cosmo” the narrator tells us about a camping trip at a campground owned by her step uncleMy boyfriend wondered about the bears and the step uncle said sure there are black bears plenty of them He said make yourself look bigger wave your arms and yell and he demonstrated and we saw the forest of his armpits He warned us about the dangers of leaving scraps You don't remember me do you I saidLater in “uantum Physics Forebears” some friends are spending what seems like an ordinary evening drinking and talking until the narrator offers us thisThat's when I see the grizzly bear rummaging around Coop's garbage light shining on his fur I point and mutter point and mutter ineffectually TC doesn't even stop yammering but Coop rearranges his forehead and goes and looks over the edge of the deck He goes RAWR and waves his arms up and down and the grizzly the fucking grizzly looks at us with uncertainty and runs off with something in its mouth An orange peel I think Coop saunters back to the table says Black bear We get them all the timeBoth of these ursine encounters point toward their own retelling there’s an awareness of these moments as stories not in the sense they’re being written but because each of these narrators we know is actively revising the story of herself to fit a bear — whether real or imagined — into it In the first case there’s a rethinking of the past and what it means to the present and future and in the second we can almost hear the story this night will become in the retelling — despite learning the “grizzly” is in fact a black bear surely it will remain a grizzly when our narrator recounts the night later and makes it part of the myth of herself So these bears loom large as do other animals and encounters in other stories symbolically and suggestively and not only on the page they’re physically or psychically present enough to feel like than “just” symbols The stories too are about than themselves than the moment in which they occur — they extend backward and forward into the characters’ lives and into our own like all the best myths or fables or legends I’ve used these bears to make my point because well I really like bears and they’re probably the most vivid examples but I think the point holds true for all the stories in the first half of Fish’s bookIn the second half of the collection “Life” the stories are fittingly domesticated less feral They also seem contained by being set mostly indoors but also because they don’t extend as far beyond their own pages In “Backbone” we’re told of a girl’s ride along with her sisters in her uncle’s “black Ford Falcon” a drive on whichUncle Jayce smoked Raleighs and flicked his ashes out the window and they flew back into our faces He told us to tell him when we saw a red tailed hawk and when we did he'd take a sip of something he had in a bottle between his legsWe were as well tended as livestockThese characters are livestock not wildlife and even the hawk not to mention the Falcon is reduced — by Uncle Jayce not by Kathy Fish — to a cheap drinking game That’s a far cry from the mythic suggestive creatures of the earlier stories And these characters’ lives are generally smaller if familiar and facing immediate problems you know the kinds of things readers want to read about when they aren’t bear obsessed weirdos But for me the character in “Prague” killing time on a youthful visit to that city with the same conversations and boredom that might occur anywhere — which certainly resonates with my own experience of travel — is less compelling than the earlier characters who seem likely to act than waitIn “The People Here Are So Hardy And Cheerful” Tom Bridge is stuck in Denver’s airport calling someone named Sandy over a poor connection “Everybody just wants to get out of here” he tells her and later “I hate it here Sandy” It’s a compact powerful image of the literal and metaphorical difficulties of connection and distance and wholly true to life in a powerful way I easily understand why some other readers and reviewers have preferred these “Life” stories over the “Wild” And yet I prefer the earlier tales that take as their starting point not “I want to escape” but instead “Off I go” Less realistic probably and less like most of our lives but I guess I prefer stories mythic than life instead of stories just like it So I really appreciated the bifurcation of this collection and its invitation to think about the difference


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