Friday, March 27, 2009

Reviewing the Philippines Free Press Fiction March 2009

Neither the March 14 nor the March 28 issue included short fiction.

March 7, 2009 - "Homecoming" by Ricardo Suarez Soler: There's a rough quality to this story although for the most part, this is passable. "Homecoming" is rich in details and while the subject matter or its ending isn't particularly original, there's a certain competence that can be observed. What would have made this refined is the deletion of the husband's point of view. This is clearly the story of the wife and everything from the conflict, the motivation, and the ending supports this. Soler betrays his weakness because he never returns to the husband's perspective after its inclusion in the opening paragraphs and this would have nonetheless worked without it. Sure, you're missing out on some vivid descriptions but they're extraneous details that ultimately pad the story rather than enhance it.

March 21, 2009 - "You Know I Love You" by Sasha Martinez: I've honestly been trying to like the stories in The Philippines Free Press but a lot of them seems to have an element or two that needs fixing. "You Know I Love You" is one of the exceptions that I can read and finally relax. Martinez follows a more literary aesthetic, if literary for you means "no plot but lots of character." However, the lack of plot does not necessitate a lack of conflict and the author manages to subtly inject it into the story, insinuating it and teasing readers. What I was impressed with is that there's a sensual aspect to the piece without being blatantly porn. Martinez manages to describe more with less, whether it's the descriptions or the underlying theme.

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