and other short fiction by Christine Japely
softcover $12.95 Fall 2002
In this collection of inventive short stories by Christine Japely, many previously published in literary journals, the settings range from familiar urban and suburban life to a science-fiction flavored (but recognizable) police state. The subject matter is varied: some stories explore delicate nuances of human behavior with sly humor and serious underpinnings of private pain, while others take a wider, political view. In one story, a respectable married woman, environmentally and politically concerned, contemplates deceiving her husband regarding his father's dire medical condition in order to save their weekend away at a country inn. Japely uncovers the truths hidden in all our lives: the dirty secrets hiding in our seemingly well-ordered homes; the deceptions we allow ourselves to tell those we love.
From RAIN TAXI Summer 2003
In contemporary American fiction, the vein of "domestic realism" has been mined to the point of exhaustion, leaving little in the way of expectations: This makes a collection of short stories such as Christine Japely's Resistance all the more welcome. While primarily anchored in the here and now (with a few excursions into the past and future), these stories reveal some unsettling cracks and rifts in the otherwise smooth veneer of quotidian complacency, bringing to mind Franz Kafka, Raymond Carver, or even John Cheever. Many a stone is unturned, and what is revealed is not always pleasant. The one constant that winds its way through these stories is that of resistance, aptly conveyed in the title story, in which a respectable married woman chooses to deceive her husband regarding his father's dire medical condition in order to save a long-planned weekend away at a country inn: This is true storytelling and not just writing. In each one of these stories, the characters are tangible, the plots are plausible, and the writing is consistently fresh and sharp. But most of all, the continuous thread of resistance to the truth, to common sense, or the status quo-gives this collection the sort of palpable edge that makes it stand out from so many others. An excellent debut, and a good reason to look for more work from this writer. • (Mark Terrill)
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