Fiction. Asian American Studies. MEMORY SICKNESS by Phong Nguyen is the winner of the 2010 Elixir Press Fiction Award. It is a loosely related series of short stories, set in Rhode Island, that illuminates our tentative and painful paths in this world. William Giraldi has this to say about it: "Dead-on in its depiction of modern malaise, MEMORY SICKNESS will burn in your oFiction. Asian American Studies. MEMORY SICKNESS by Phong Nguyen is the winner of the 2010 Elixir Press Fiction Award. It is a loosely related series of short stories, set in Rhode Island, that illuminates our tentative and painful paths in this world. William Giraldi has this to say about it: "Dead-on in its depiction of modern malaise, MEMORY SICKNESS will burn in your own memory forever, assuring you of the sickness we are. Phong Nguyen has crafted stories with zero at the bone, stories of how the child is father of the man, of what we do to one another in this world, and what we do to ourselves. His Providence, Rhode Island, seems borne into being by the bastard offspring of Denis Johnson and Mary Gaitskill: a place of danger, horror, and the dim hope necessary for our survival. This book will scar you."...
|Number of Pages||:||144 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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Memory Sickness Reviews
I think story collections are one of the hardest things to review fairly, as you're asking the writer to knock it out of the park with each story and feeling disappointed if she or he doesn't. I'm rating Memory Sickness Five stars not because I think every story is dynamite; some I felt were, in comparison to the incredible ones, a little thin. Yet those that are incredible, like the title story, which opens the book, and the last story, "The Ballad of John Gray," which thematically and even plotwise manages to unite the disparate threads of this award-winning collection, are indeed stories that haunt and inspire and reward the reader. Memory Sickness is a little like Dubliners with Providence, RI as the setting, with a cast of characters who move in and out of the stories. From his accomplishment with this collection, I both want Phong Nguyen to keep writing stories and write a novel. He's exceptional in the small moments and has the guts to alternate point of view, which hardly anyone does anymore in short stories. I love his immigrant and native characters and the way he captures voices that sound both as raw as speech but as reflective as retrospective. He's pretty damned good, Phong Nguyen, and I'm glad he won this prize from Elixir Press that resulted in an exceptional book's publication.
Powerful short stories, and all well worth reading. I felt the beginning ones were the strongest in the collection, but there was enough variety and tension as the book progressed that I never got bored, and will certainly search out more of Nguyen's work. If you're a fan of short fiction, this is worth finding.
All of the stories are good; some of them are very good.