Three Scenarios in Which Hana Sasaki Grows a Tail

Kelly Luce
Kelly Luce. A Strange Object (www.astrangeobject.com), $12 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-0-9892759-1-0
Reviewed on: 10/21/2013
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Luce's debut short story collection with its captivating title and incandescent prose lures readers into a land both familiar and fantastically foreign, melding Japanese folklore and traditions with strange and memorable characters. In "Ms. Yamada's Toaster," a neighborhood buzzes with the newfound discovery of a toaster producing bread toasted with a kanji character indicating how you'd die. In "The Blue Demon of Ikumi," a honeymoon trip takes an unexpected turn when Saki confesses to her husband that the real reason that they got together was because she grew a tail. Nao in "The Wisher" considers himself "something of a priest: a hearer of confessions, witness of desires" as he is able to hear each wish that is cast by coin in a neighborhood wishing fountain. In "Amorometer," Aya receives news that she scored exceptionally high on the device "that measures one's capacity to love" even as she remained ambivalent in a lackluster marriage. Each story is stemmed in loneliness and Luce's writing packs subtle charm with a sense of foreboding that lingers long after reading. (Oct.)
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