find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Why did I pick this book: I participated in the blog tour hosted by JKSCommunications. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book.
The stories were short and interesting. Yet they felt real. There were a few times while reading Aliens & Other Stories that I felt like a was reading non-fiction essays about actual people. That was impressive to me, that Ms. Wheaton could make me forget that I was reading fiction, even if for a moment. The stories and characters were memorable. But the order of the stories puzzles me a bit. I’m not sure why they were sequenced as they were. There are characters that appear in each story that are in other stories but at different periods of time. What was neat was that I kept thinking, “Hey, I know that guy!”
All-in-all, a good book of quick reads that stay with you and make you think.
Would I recommend it: I would if you like short stories.
Will I read it again: I will not.
About the book – from Goodreads: The characters in Kathleen Wheaton’s linked stories are exiles-from their native countries, their families, their objects of desire. Political refugees from Argentina’s “dirty war,” survivors of a Cuban shipwreck and of Franco’s Spain all navigate life as foreigners, whether in Madrid, Buenos Aires or suburban Washington, D.C. With wry, nuanced compassion, Wheaton follows these resilient people as they reconcile the absurdities of contemporary life with a legacy of dislocation, loss and longing.
About the author: Veteran journalist Kathleen Wheaton’s byline has appeared in publications all over the world, and this fall, her name will grace the cover of her newest work, “Aliens and Other Stories.”
Wheaton was born in 1957 on a U.S. Army base in Germany and grew up in Pasadena and Palo Alto, Calif. After graduating from Stanford University in ’79 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing and Spanish, she packed her bags and headed to Madrid, Spain, where she taught English for two years. Wheaton earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Boston University in ‘82. She lived in New York until ‘86 and returned to Spain for a year to write and edit a travel book for Insight Guides. She then traveled to Argentina for a second guidebook, where she met NPR reporter David Welna. They married in 1988 and lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Tepoztlan, Mexico before returning to the United States in ’97 along with their two sons, Ben and Alex, both born in Latin America.
Wheaton has been honored with three Dateline awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for profiles of public radio host Diane Rehm and opera singer Denyce Graves as well as a story about teen suicide published in Bethesda Magazine. She has received three grants from the Maryland Arts Council and in 2005, and she claimed the top spot at The Baltimore Review’s fiction contest. Her interviews and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The San Francisco Examiner, The Paris Review, Town & Country, European Travel & Life, Via, Applause and Smithsonian Magazine.
Wheaton’s short stories have been published in The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, Byline, Flyway, The Baltimore Review, Timber Creek Review, New South, Smokelong Quarterly, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Artisan, River Oak Review and Narrative as well as anthologies Flash Fiction Forward and Amazing Graces.
Wheaton’s collection of short stories, “Aliens and Other Stories,” will be released Oct. 15, 2013, by the Washington Writers’ Publishing House. The book recently won the publishing company’s 2013 award for fiction.
Wheaton is an assistant editor at Narrative, an online literary magazine. She works as a Spanish and Portuguese interpreter for Montgomery County public schools in Maryland. She lives in the Washington D.C. area with her husband.