Hopeful Monsters

Par Hiromi Goto (CA)

$19.95 ISBN: 9781551521572

The unbearable voices of mythic manatees, the cry of the phoenix, the whispers of kappa lovers beside a gurgling stream. The voice of the moon that is ever turned away from our gaze, the song of suns colliding. The sounds which permeate from my skin on such a level of intensity that mortal senses recoil, deflect beauty into ugliness as a way of coping. And my joy. Such incredible joy. The hairs on my arms stand electric, the static energy and the heat amplifies my smell/sound with such exponential dizzying intensity, that the plastic which surrounds me bursts apart, falls away from my being like an artificial cocoon.
I hover, twenty feet in the air.

The title of Hopeful Monsters refers to genetically abnormal organisms that naturally adapt to their environments. In Hiromi Goto's quietly devastating stories, the hopeful monsters in question are women confounded by familial duty and the ghosts of their past.

As mothers, daughters, wives, and "stinky girls," they are the walking wounded--a mother terrified by a newborn daughter who bears a tail; a woman who cannot breast-feed without pain; three generations of women who dream of lives that are not their own. But their wills are a force of nature unto themselves, and their struggles for selfhood are imbued with the light of myth and magic-realism. In these tales of domestic crises and cultural dissonance, Goto makes the familiar seem strange, and deciphers those moments when the idyllic skews into the absurd, the sublime, even the horrific.

Alternately poignant and noisy, these stories establish Hiromi Goto's gift for short fiction that is as shining as her acclaimed novels.


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