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Forgetting English Paperback – January 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Eastern Washington University (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597660469
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597660464
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,225,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Parts of these polished stories, if read aloud, would sound like a smart patient describing a dream to a psychoanalyst. Raymond's prose often lights up the poetry-circuits of the brain... --The Seattle Times

All of her stories are heartbreakingly honest ... I wouldn't be surprised if she started getting compared to Alice Munro or Jhumpa Lahiri. --Seattle Books Examiner

Raymond's style of writing is engaging, her locations exotic, her endings are often resonant and deftly written, and what her stories express about travel and exploration is honest and forthright. --The Short Review

Raymond has quiet, unrelenting control over the writing; each story is compelling and thrives because each detail and line of dialogue reveals just a little more about the characters and the evocative settings. --The Rumpus

More About the Author

Midge Raymond's short-story collection, Forgetting English, received the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction. Originally published by Eastern Washington University, the book has been reissued in an expanded edition by Press 53. Midge is also the author of Everyday Writing: Tips and Prompts to Fit Your Regularly Scheduled Life, and Everyday Book Marketing: Promotion Ideas to Fit Your Regularly Scheduled Life.

Midge's stories have appeared in TriQuarterly, Redivider, Bellingham Review, American Literary Review, Indiana Review, North American Review, Bellevue Literary Review, the Los Angeles Times magazine, and many other publications. Her work has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes and received an Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship.

Midge taught communication writing at Boston University for six years, and she has taught creative writing at Boston's Grub Street Writers and Seattle's Richard Hugo House. While living in Southern California, she held writing workshops and seminars at San Diego Writers, Ink, where she also served as vice president of the board of directors.

Midge lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. Visit her online at www.MidgeRaymond.com.

Customer Reviews

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"Forgetting English" is a collection of short stories from Midge Raymond.
Midwest Book Review
The stories' characters travel locations around the Pacific Rim, each encountering a deeply personal moment, some life-altering, some life-affirming.
Athene Five
The writing is extraordinary as are the insights into the human condition.
SteveDykes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ryan R. Asmussen on July 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The following story breakdowns (no spoilers) have been edited from a private e-mail written by me and adapted to fit this forum... R.A.

"First Sunday"
I read the first sentence of this story and got a big kick out of it. What a fine way to begin a collection, with that sure touch of character placement as well as humor. This one got me on, if I may call it, a 'linguistic level,' in that its concerns with language (as evidenced in part by the section headings) felt very real to me. I like the positioning of this story re the collection because it sets up the reader thematically. And on that note, I appreciated that theme aspect, too; that here we have a range of tones and keys, but that certain melodies come back again and again.

"Translation Memory"
This one is among my favorites. The text shifts back and forth between words, as Raymond writes, "liminal(ly)." Last few lines very strong. Playwrights talk about 'curtain lines' -- the crucial last line at the end of an act or play -- and there are some great ones in this collection.

"The Ecstatic Cry"
I feel that this one might be the 'strongest' story in the collection. Let me define 'strongest' (smile): the most artful and real blending of fact and fiction, of style and substance, of concretism and absolutism. I keep thinking of the idea of the signature story. We hate to sum up authors, but it is a challenge and kind of fun, too. This one may be it. It begins with "I stifle an urge to start cleaning it up." Right away, we're dropped into the mystery as to why. And then it keeps pushing you forward, not only into odd physical terrain, but also into odd psychological terrain. I think the first-person helps establish a firmer reality to make the fantastic even more grounded.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amy R. Drescher on February 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
I loved this book! I could not put it down, and neglected my family and my job while I plowed through it. Each piece was so entertaining and the characters and scenes so well-developed I was engrossed immediately. I was disappointed when each story ended, but the next one grabbed me right away. I hope this author writes a novel next. I'd love to sink my teeth into a longer Raymond book. If you liked Jumpa Lahiri's stories, you'll love these. They're set in exotic locations but feature women with stories/situations you'd expect to find among your own friends. This book would make for a great book group discussion--in fact I'm choosing it for my own book club.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sean Farley on February 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
These stories are amazing! Honest. There aren't many writers who can gather the intricacies of the human condition and make them interesting. The title story is...breathtaking. I can easily see it transformed into a film. "The Road to Hana" and "First Sunday" capture what I love most in stories -- the conflicts people find within themselves and the small, inner tortures they don't quite know how to deal with! A great collection; I can't wait to see a full-length work from Raymond. Soon, I hope!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Poppy J. on December 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
Readers will get more than just a lift from this book. The venues are unfamiliar, with stories from Tonga, Taipei, Hawai'i the Serengeti and even Antarctica. The names are also not within our realm of imagination, with characters, animals and places tagged like nothing we have ever read before. But the author uses simple themes to get and keep our attention, and the book is one that once picked up, will be hard to put down.

Even for people who consider themselves world travelers, this collection of short stories has a few exotic surprises. The author is able to describe and detail relationships, from the bottom up and from the inside out. The characters are easily seen as if a person living the life, in real time, would see them. The conversations between the characters are real too, and are reminiscent of conversations we have all had at one time or another. The themes are clearly thought out, with many of them highlighting a person who has to live with herself, and coming to terms with what image others think she has become.

Many of the stories leave the reader with more questions to ask, than are actually answered. Most of the stories deserve a sequel, since after reading them, we always want more information. For anyone considering reading this book, I suggest that it is read the way you eat your favorite meal. Stop to consider how lucky you really are after each tasty morsel. And once finished, revel in the memory of how great it was while you were eating it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Miner on February 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
Sublime and transformative. Pick this one up and just let Raymond take you away to these wonderful places. A real triumph. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LegalBeagle on September 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Forgetting English by Midge Raymond is an exquisite thematic collection of short stories. The stories describe women in exterior and interior transit. The characters face a myriad of crossroads such as, divorce, infidelity, unemployment, abortion, and attempted suicide while a moonlight mile from home.

Each story deftly details the characters' impact and adaptation to their foreign surroundings. Raymond's masterful prose transports the reader to various locales including Antarctica, Japan, and Tonga to name a few. Similarly, the author's keen insights into matters of the psyche gave this reader much to ponder after each story's coda. Every story in the collection is a like a fine chocolate to be savored, but I especially enjoyed the lyrical prose in "Translation Memory."

The mixture of characters in crisis in exotic locales made for highly enjoyable reading!
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