Sunday, November 8, 2020

Book Review: How to Pronounce Knife stories by Souvankham Thammavongsa (short story collection)

Congratulations to Souvankham Thammavongsa for writing How to Pronounce Knife which won the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize

How to Pronounce Knife is a collection of 14 short stories. All but two of the protagonists are immigrants Canadians from Laos. They are children, a factory worker, a senior citizen, an ex-boxer, small businesspeople, farm labourers, a cleaner. They are disempowered people. Even if, like Mr. Vong (from the short story The Universe Would Be So Cruel), they hold a position of respect in their community they discover that they are still powerless against outside forces. 

Many of these stories are tinged with sadness. Many are earthy, gritty stories. 

Following in the tradition of authors such as John Steinbeck, Souvankham Thammavongsa uses her considerable talent to champion the underdog. People that many of us may not have known existed if not for her. 

Buy this book

Published by McClelland & Stewart

an imprint of Penguin Random House

Published in 2020

Virtual Reading...

Wednesday, November 11 

Remembrance Day

I will read my short story "Remembering Him"

--and oh boy will this be a challenge for me to read.

Next Sunday...

November 15

Short story:  

Is She Me?

Leanne Dyck

This short story is intended as an anthem for women of a certain age.

'found art' photo by ldyck

Sharing my author journey...

word count:  8,555 words
goal:  40,000+ words

I reached a new high with my manuscript. After days, weeks 

of walking the tightrope from word to word without a net, this week I finally wrote the plot outline--in the sand. So that I can change it as necessary.

You:  Do you usually develop your plot a month after starting to write your manuscript.

The only answer I can give is:  There's no usual. Each manuscript is written in its own unique way.