Title

Against Interiority: Negotiating the Mind and Body in Corinne Manning’s We Had No Rules and Bishakh Som’s Apsara Engine

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

5-17-2021

Publication Title

Fiction Writers Review

Abstract

The short story has always been about the collective body just by the simple fact that short stories rarely exist alone. And, certainly, the short story has been foundational to any fiction writer from a marginalized group who wants to prove that a readership exists for their work. ... This means-to-an-end fascination with the short story, though, obscures its more important cultural and literary function. It has for the last century been the way—particularly with the privileging of first-person and third-person–limited points of view over omniscience—for a writer from a marginalized group to represent the lives and truths of their larger communities. It’s this second vision of the short story that’s at the core of two recent debut collections: Corinne Manning’s We Had No Rules (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2020) and Bishakh Som’s Apsara Engine (Feminist Press, 2020).

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