Author Archives: Kelsey Maki

About Kelsey Maki

writer and English professor

“The Watch” by Rick Bass c. 2017 (pages 45-81 in For a Little While)

In this captivating short story, the protagonist Hollingsworth suffers from his own isolation and seeks to subdue and control the two other major characters in the story: his father Buzbee (who is a virile seventy-seven-year-old man who lives in the … Continue reading

Posted in book, fiction, sentences, short story, writing | Leave a comment

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid c. 2017 (231 pages—Riverhead Books)

Despite its magical elements—secret doors as portals to other countries—this novel strikes the reader as a real and very relevant commentary on xenophobia, violence, and the refugee crisis. While addressing these weighty issues, Hamid also manages to write a moving … Continue reading

Posted in book, fiction, novel, sentences | Tagged , | Leave a comment

“Freeman Gottschall Experiences One or Two More or Less Improbable Events” by Joshua D. Graber c. 2016 (pages 153-181 in Glimmer Train)

This short story centers on the random events that impact the protagonist Freeman Gottschall, who was a student of the famed Edward Lorenz, known in popular culture for chaos theory and the “butterfly effect.” Although the story is short, it … Continue reading

Posted in book, fiction, sentences, short story | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue c. 2016 (382 pages—Random House)

Set primarily in NYC during the subprime mortgage crisis, Mbue deftly shows the intersecting stories of two very different families: the Edwards and the Jongas. The Edwards are stoic Americans who want to maintain their lifestyle and keep up appearances. … Continue reading

Posted in book | Leave a comment

The Mare by Mary Gaitskill c. (441 pages—Pantheon)

“The Mare” is told chronologically from multiple (first-person) perspectives, a structure which drives the narrative. The main protagonist, Velvet, is a mixed-race girl from a tough neighborhood in New York who forms a deep, yet complicated, relationship with a childless … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Deep Singh Blue by Ranbir Singh Sidhu c. 2016 (243 pages—The Unnamed Press)

Dark and poignant, this book explores issues of bias, bigotry, love, and violence. The protagonist, Deep Singh, who was born in the US, feels the force of dislocation and dis-belonging—caught between his parents’ homeland of India and his current life … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler c. 2016 (237 pages—Hogarth)

This book is part of a series of reinterpretations of Shakespeare’s plays published by Hogarth. “Vinegar Girl” is the modern retelling of “The Taming of the Shrew” (1590), in which Kate Battista, a motherless twenty-nine year old, takes care of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment