October 23rd, 2013


LA Shorts, edited by Steven Gilbar

An uneven anthology of largely mainstream short stories. With Los Angeles as the organizing theme, I hope for the city, or the feel of the city, to be a prominent part of the story. But I was disappointed by many of them on that score. And by the lack of a point. If your story doesn't really have a point, please don't try to wrap it all up with an ambiguously poetic paragraph in an effort to look deep. But a number of them delivered.

One of the particularly good points of the book was the wildly varying perspectives and cultures: Hollywood, Disneyland, black and Latino LA, sure, but also the recent Russian immigrants, the Korean court interpreter (in a barely fictionalized version of the Latasha Harlins case), and the Chinese father looking to remarry (but haven't you used your father as material enough, Sandra Tsing Loh?).