At Times I Almost Dream

Amy E. Yergen. Pink Narcissus (www.pinknarc.com), $12 trade paper (126p) ISBN 978-0-9829913-5-0
Yergen’s debut collection of 10 stories dives into the core of feminine strength, focusing on women in myth and legend while eschewing archetypal tropes. Each of the characters is lovingly described with an almost autobiographical feel, though many have shallow and unclear motives. One of the strongest offerings is “Faerie Gifts,” which showcases the powers of innocence and presence. “Puss in Boots Goes Walking” is a rather darkly tongue-in-cheek view of the trials and tribulations of superficial femininity. The message of female empowerment and sacrifice is discomfitingly paired with mockery of masculinity in “The Better to Eat You With” and “Handspun,” and the triumphs achieved by the heroines are hollow and rushed. Beautiful world-building and descriptive narrative fall just short of balancing out the stories’ flaws. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/24/2012
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