Hopeful Monsters

Hiromi Goto
ISBN: 1551521571

There are eleven mostly odd stories in this collection. I mean that in a good way. Reading so many stories with unapologetically Canadian (folks wear toques, not winter hats) and Japanese characters, I realized how “scrubbed” many short stories are — too many happen in generic places with generic people. The foreignness of the characters (to me) isn’t what makes the stories odd, though. Characters like the woman who finds out she was born with a tail is what makes for the wonderful oddness.

The formerly breastfeeding woman, the “Stinky Girl” and undead frozen goldfish also contribute to the sense of not-quite-right but quite real in Goto’s stories. The disconnect between the world her characters (and her readers) are expecting and the one that is provides rich surprises. Recommended for fans of the offbeat short story, and folks who like their magic realism with subtle twists.

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