Monday, August 25, 2008

One More Year: Stories by Sana Krasikov (a review)

One More Year: Stories
4.5 out of 5: Sana Krasikov’s One More Year is a collection of eight stories about the immigrant experience. Krasikov’s protagonists are outsiders (primarily from the former Soviet Union) who approach America with a fresh, and often revealing, perspective. In one story, a recent immigrant from the former Soviet Republic of Georgia describes two American girls as “not fat” but “large in that full-scale American way, filling out the last corner of their natural dimensions.” In another story, a woman thinks of “guests removing their shoes before entering a house” in response to a description of Fire Island as an island where “everybody leaves their cars on the dock and takes the ferry.” Many of these protagonists view marriage as a way to obtain legal status in the U.S. long before considering the American ideal of a love match. These unfamiliar perspectives challenge our embedded assumptions about life in America.

In addition to the unique viewpoints offered in One More Year, these stories are fulfilling reading for another reason: they are literary puzzles. Krasikov begins her stories by jumping right into the middle of the action, revealing only oblique glimpses of characters and relationships. Over time, more details and connections are exposed, ultimately creating a complete picture for the patient reader. This intelligent style results in an active and rewarding reading experience. Highly recommended.


S. Krishna said...

I've got this one on my TBR shelf, so I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Kathleen said...

I also thought this was great :)