Sunday, August 30, 2009

Short Sharp Shock in the Heart

The Hamburger Story - Lauren Becker

I think Wigleaf is certainly one of my favorite journals. Not just because the editor deigned to publish me, giving me my first acceptance. But, the stories there most closely come to my definition of Flash.

I was pleased to see Lauren Becker's work appearing in Wigleaf's most current issue - if they have issues, that is. I think the editor posts stories on a rolling basis. But, I digress. I can't say I always like Becker's work, but I do find her writing compelling and worthy of note.

Thus this blog post.

Here is a Flash in flashback. I have been ruminating on the use of flashback in Flash, so I was happy to find this great use of flashback. Here, the act of flashing back is not a mere digression to explicate the present action, but the flashing back is, in fact, the present action. This meets my criteria for a tight focus - Becker stays in this ruminative mode throughout the piece.

Much like the protagonist in Tobias Wolff's A Bullet in the Brain, Becker's narrator has been shocked. Becker's 1st person narrator has been shocked by an ex-lover's book and his fictional portayal of her therein.

As to the writing, I found the staccato tempo of the piece refreshing. Short, sharp sentences marched me through the anger and turmoil the narrator is experiencing. Thankfully, Becker gives us a few compound sentences so that we can breathe through the middle of the piece.

All in all, I'd chalk this up as another success for both Becker and Wigleaf!

I give this one a Blackberry Pie with a nice strong, black cup of Stumptown joe to go with.

1 comment:

Lauren Becker said...

Hey Hobie:

Thanks for your kind and thoughtful review of "The Hamburger Story." I'm really glad you liked the story and honored that you wrote about it!