This is a nice, quick and fun poem. It’s an easy read, but one that has many hidden layers. I read it twice before I started trying to write this review. After all, the hidden layers were happy to tell me something new each and every re-read.
This isn’t like a lot of the trickster stories I’ve been reading recently. Instead of featuring a supernatural being of balance, this is a mortal woman who follows the sign of the trickster. But, unlike the supernatural beings that I’m so used to, she’s actually capable of change. The question of whether or not she’s willing to become something more than herself, something better, is what fills this story.
Game nights were kind of a big thing in my family when I was younger. Actually, they’re still kind of a big thing, although I’m not around as much to play now. They were always a great way to spend time together in a fun way. And, since we’re all more than a little competitive, a very fun, not to mention loud way to spend the night. So, a short story that features board games that I grew up playing and a trickster… it’s the kind of story that I was always going to love.
The mirror of folklore by using the idea of three aspects, or parts, of the trickster worked really well in this story. Part one tells the story of a young lady beseeching help from the trickster. Part two provides a little more of a mid-life crisis and lets you question the role of the trickster in the beginnings of the modern world. And, finally, part three highlights the end of an era, and the start of a new one. One in which the Trickster will either adapt and change or drown in the new world.
I have a slight obsession with bayous and creole culture. Every time I read stories surrounded by this, I’m unable to look away. They’re beautiful and fun and there is just… something about them that makes me deliriously happy. Which is why I loved this story so much. It had the feeling of a fairy tale but was filled with a cultural backdrop that I know next to nothing about, and always want to know more of.
We all know the feeling of not belonging. Of being a fish out of water, so to say. Sadly, not many of us necessarily know how to get rid of this feeling. And, sometimes when people are teenagers, they never move beyond this. Which is all the kinds of feelings that this short story reminded me of. The feeling of not belonging and loss. And, quite honestly, the suicide forest that I’ve heard of in Japan. It just had that beautifully and tragically eerie feeling to the tale that I just didn’t quite know what to do with.
I’ve always been fascinated by Greek Mythology. Ever since I was a tiny child. But I wasn’t expecting to find such a story in a collection of tales about Tricksters. I don’t know why, since Hermes is the god of thieves (and in a way tricksters). And Zeus… well, the amount of insane shenanigans that man gets up to… well, there is seriously no reason that the Greek Mythos shouldn’t find it’s way into this collection. And Hoffman did this brilliantly.
I really wasn’t expecting a Trickster story with a Chinese spin on it when I started reading this story. I was kind of expecting another Native American / Coyote story. But I really liked the fact that there was a very different spin on the Trickster tale. For starters, it is based in California during the Gold Rush and features a time long gone.
I’m getting more and more into poetry as time passes. There is just something about the lyricism of the words and the symbolism they often impart. It just works beautifully. And the use of a female coyote in this story was just fantastic. I love that Dunn finds a way to impart the femininity of tricksters and can share this in so few pages.
This was a really cute, funny story. I loved the narrator’s voice as it unfolds. There is a sense of wandering storytelling that isn’t common in a lot of other stories. It made me feel like I was being told the story by the woman in the story – sitting next to her as she told me about Mark, who really should have known better.