So We Can Glow: Stories

Grand Central. Mar. 2020. 256p. ISBN 9781538715338. $27. F
Two short story collections center on the broad themes of women and womanhood. Glow contains 42 tales about female desire and the things that may accompany it, such as obsession, frustration, and love. Senseless collects 12 daring pieces featuring adventurous plots about women who don’t seem senseless at all. Debut author Wallman writes in a traditional narrative style, while Cross-Smith (Whiskey & Ribbons) employs a variety of epistolary storytelling methods such as email, text messaging, and plays. Both authors display skill and a knack for detailed descriptions. Notable stories include Cross-Smith’s “The Great Barrier Reef Is Dying But So Are We” and “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,” both about a married couple with trust issues, and Wallman’s “The Malanesian,” a two-character, back-and-forth dialog about survival.
VERDICT Though uneven, several entertaining stories make these collections best for voracious short story fans.

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