Browsing Category Interviews/Reviews

Small Digital Fictions: A Review of Shorts (Platypus Press)

Shorts are mini digital fictional stories that exist in the space between short story and novella. They’re published through England-based Platypus Press and include emerging and established authors such as Leesa Cross-Smith and Nur Nasreen Ibrahim, as well as past Portland Review-contributor Kristen Arnett. Each of the shorts described below live in the realm of relationships, and more specifically, in the universal truth of marriage and family and…

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A Queered Bildungsroman: A Review of Who Is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht

Rosalie Knecht’s newest novel Who Is Vera Kelly? (Tin House Books, 2018) aims to answer the difficult question posed in its title. In large part, it’s a coming-of-age story about a girl growing up in the sixties. But unlike the classic bildungsroman, this noveldefies the reader’s expectations and blurs the lines of genre. It is at once a period piece set partially in South America during…

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Overcome By Events: A Review of Crash Course by Julie Whipple

Julie Whipple’s Crash Course (Yamhill Canyon Press, 2018) is a lucid and engaging examination of a tragedy that occurred in the city of Portland. On December 28, 1978, a DC-8 jet airliner plummeted out of the night sky and crashed in an empty lot located on East Burnside, costing ten people their lives. Whipple’s account invokes the “tick-tock” tension of a thriller, the drama of the courtroom trial, and the cool-eyed analysis…

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Doing More with Less: A Look at New Hint Fiction

In creating New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction (forthcoming August, 2018), editors James Thomas and Robert Scotellaro combed through print and online journals, individual collections, and literary anthologies for short gems. All of the one hundred and forty stories included in this W. W. Norton & Company anthology are individually less than three hundred words. Though brief, these narratives are deep. In the anthology’s forward, Robert Shapard notes the length of stories has been…

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