Tania Hershman – My Mother Was an Upright Piano

This week at Necessary Fiction I reviewed Tania Hershman’s collection My Mother Was an Upright Piano:

But flash pieces can also work in another direction entirely. They can willfully ignore or resist this idea of “boundaries,” and, in this way, they create a sharp and refined glimmer of a much longer story. But they are more than hints or teasers, they become like a puzzle piece so intricately detailed and formed that it no longer needs the puzzle.

This last example is the kind of fiction that mostly fills Tania Hershman’s My Mother Was an Upright Piano, a collection of 56 short and very short fictions that play across a wide variety of human experience and emotion—loss, irreverence, love relationships, family relationships, grief, anger, curiosity, escape. The diversity of subject on offer in the collection is brilliant, but what really impresses is how Hershman succeeds in establishing longer, more complicated narratives within each short piece. These aren’t incomplete excerpts; the reader doesn’t want or need any of these fictions to go on longer or somehow become another form entirely. But again and again, out of a very short piece, a fuller story blooms.

You can read the full review here.