I just finished reading my pal Midge Raymond's amazing collection, Forgetting English. The collection won the 2007 Spokane Prize for Short Fiction, and it is easy to see why. Each story is like a novel. I feel I know the characters, and when the story ends, the characters seem to continue.
It's hard for me to pick a favorite, but I think that "The Road to Hana" is the one I remember the most often. That scene with the ring on the woman's hand, how surprising and how right that was. And how the protagonist dips down into the water to avoid hearing what her husband wants to tell her, but hears anyway. Raymond knows just how much information to give the reader.
It is so refreshing to read stories set in faraway places, where the author understands the seduction of the foreign, and the loneliness. Oh, and Raymond knows how to end a story, too. Really, this was a pleasure from the first story to the last. Now I'm looking forward to a novel from her, which I hope will come out soon.
So if you're looking for a good read, trot right out and get Forgetting English.