Well, I couldn’t get through all four stories in this Fall 2004 issue (vol. 78, no. 3) and though I still carry the guilt of that, it is in keeping with my new policy of forcing myself to give up as a timewaster something that doesn’t keep my attention. I will learn nothing from writing that is not outstanding; especially in view of the 70 books on my hearth and the 31 (now 32 and growing) books listed that I know I definitely want to read, as well as the back issues of Confrontation, Prairie Schooner, Glimmertrain and Ploughshares.
Two of the stories were good, one was riddled with amateurish workings from page one, the poems were probably good–I know little about poetry; but in this issue one story just shined right through: Wolves by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer.
I am certain that the touch of magical realism is what hooked me, as well as the flawless writing style and suck-you-in narrative voice of the story. Basically, a woman is contemplating her life and her marriage and does so by way of an imaginary wolf that serves as an alter-ego in her attempt to understand the past and the future of her life as well as the love she shares with her husband.
As is my custom, I check up on an author’s brief bio only after the reading of their work–whether it is because I want to understand more about them because their writing was so good, or likewise, if it was so bad or confusing that I wonder how they ever got published. Schaeffer, I find, has fourteen novels to her credit, one published just last month.
She’s just been added to my "To Buy" list.