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on April 11, 2011
Midge Raymond's "Forgetting English" draws us into the lives of people who, despite their world travels, find themselves confronted with dilemmas foreign countries cannot erase but, instead, force them into the vortex of their inner demons.
Her fluid prose and poignant character depiction carried me rapidly through each story piquing my interest for the next one. Her characters live on long after the final page has been turned leaving one yearning for the next collection.

If you are a Jhumpa Lahiri fan, this book is for you.
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Some of the tales Ms. Raymond recounts are quite engaging, memorable and give plenty of food for thought from her experience and perspective. There were times, however where her stories were more self indulgent, self centered than I found interesting. As someone who has lived and traveled in Latin America, it's always interesting to see another America woman's perspective.
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on April 12, 2011
As a mother of two young girls, I rarely find long stretches of time to read, so I've really been enjoying short story collections. My favorite recent read is Midge Raymond's collection, Forgetting English. It won the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction, and I understand why. Besides the lyrical language and lovely use of metaphor, I was drawn completely into the characters' lives. These are women, in varying moments of crisis or crossroads, whom you'd like to have coffee with, or comfort, or give a stern talking to. And, for me, the underlying theme of the book hit home: What's lost and what's found when we travel the world? How does being somewhere foreign both take us away from ourselves and bring us closer to our true selves? These stories are little gems and, put together, they give the reader a cohesive journey to savor. I highly recommend Forgetting English. Great fodder for book club conversations, too.
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on April 14, 2011
Through Midge Raymond's stories, I was transported to many exotic locations from the South Pacific to Antarctica. Her vivid descriptions of landscapes literally immersed me physically. I met characters so real they moved off the page and into my life. If this sounds a little like literary wizardry, it just might be. To lose oneself in another reality, to experience other worlds--isn't this why we read?

In these finely crafted short stories, Raymond exposes her characters' deepest yearnings and the emotional push and pull that results. She is a master storyteller--her delicious prose, a feast for the reader. I wait impatiently for her next book.
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on April 6, 2011
Midge Raymond continues to do a careful and cunning job of mapping the treacherous landscape of love between husbands and wives, sisters, lovers, and even coworkers in this new edition of Forgetting English. Each story is set in a different and exotic destination around the world that presents its own challenges and further tests these relationship. This new edition adds stories that take place in Australia and Thailand. Her honest prose style and often gritty subject matter leaves the reader in a reflective mood without closure, but true to the short story form, shines a light on that place and that moment that brings all your senses alive.
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on May 22, 2011
The stories of Forgetting English travel a fine line between memory and forgetting. Each story is a voyage--inward or outward--and each voyage takes the young woman at the center to a new and unexpected place. Perhaps one has to "forget" one's comfort zone before another, more authentic comfort zone becomes possible. Perhaps the only way to grow is by forgetting what brought you this far. Such are the real-life dilemmas addressed here in the guise of "fiction."

Midge Raymond's collection is daring because it confronts such questions and allows that discomfort might be a condition of self-discovery. Each story involves hard choices between self-knowledge and self-denial spread across a geographic sweep that feels like circumnavigation. With subtlety and grace, Raymond guides her characters to states beyond forgetting.
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on November 22, 2015
This is a fine collection of short stories (Spokane Prize Winner, published by Press 53). I enjoyed the settings around the world -- Taiwan, Tonga, Antarctica, etc. -- and the great characters. The stories explore fidelity as well as the ties that bind us, drawing us back from attempts to reinvent ourselves. A great read.
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on December 10, 2011
I have read this book several times over, given it as a gift to at least half a dozen friends and family members, and soon will teach it in a contemporary literature class. I can't wait to share these elegantly crafted stories with my students! Midge Raymond has an ear for poetic prose, an eye for essential detail, and a heart that will open your heart to all of her protagonists -- as different as each one is. A beautiful collection.
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on January 8, 2013
"Forgetting English" is a strong, mesmerizing, unforgettable (no pun intended) collection of short stories. Written in fine, exquisite prose, the stories in "Forgetting English" will leave you wishing each story was its own novel. Personally, I enjoy short stories. More importantly, I enjoy short stories that provide a novel's worth of depth and intimacy in just several muscular pages. From "The Ecstatic Cry" to "The Road to Hana," you'll not only be pleasantly entertained, you'll be surreptitiously educated. Give this collection a chance. Midge has a supreme voice in the way of literature.
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on July 10, 2011
This book of short stories makes a perfect travel companion. Each story occupies dual landscapes--the literal, geographic setting (often somewhere unfamiliar to the general reader), and the intense emotional terrain of relationships that we all must navigate.

The characters in this newly released and recently extended edition of Midge Raymond's FORGETTING ENGLISH are so vividly drawn that they stayed with me at the close of each story. I found myself thinking about them as if they were actual people, friends I'd somehow--regretably--failed to stay in touch with.

Though each story stands alone, the collection as a whole creates an engrossing, complex and very satisfying experience. Great gift book for someone about to take a trip.
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