Once in a while, an author will create a collection of shortstories that breaks the mold and attempts to transform the way peoplethink about fiction. Tamara J. Madison's book Collard County: ACollection of Short Stories does this... Her stories are raw andpowerful, digging into the murky elements of society, yet have a magical and hopeful air to them as well. In "Barren" and "Cycles", the strength of femininity is explored. In the surreal story, "Misplaced," a womancomes to the shocking realization that parts of her body havedisappeared and only by reclaiming them will she be made whole again... Collard County is a shortfiction reader's ideal collection. If you are looking for somethingexciting and new, then look no further.
Her writing has a beautiful, almost lyrical quality. Each wordseems to have been carefully chosen so that, just as in poetry, therhythm and sound of the words is just as important as what they say. Rather than going forstrict realism, Madison instead reveals spiritual and philosophicaltruths through her stories. There is a magical element to her storiesthat is quite breathtaking... I urge readers to read her stories like they would a poem, realizing that one person's interpretation may be different from another. Herstories are the best when a reader can let go and enjoy the ride, and it is quite a wonderful ride, indeed. Reading a short story collectionthat is so brave and new is quite refreshing. I highly recommend thiscollection and it would be a joy to read more from Tamara J. Madison. Collard County is a book that I will be reading again.