Reading Good Fiction: “Kavita Through the Glass”

Reading good fiction can be a challenge these days with so many small presses and opportunities for writers – good and bad – to publish their works easily. Here in this three part series, I will share my opinions and synopsis of three short stories in Literature.

Kavita Through The Glass by Emily Ishem Raboteau

Kavita Through the Glass is written by Emily Ishem Raboteau and told by a narrator focusing on the perspective of Hassan. Hassan is a young graduate student who is currently facing remationship problems with his wife who is now pregnant. Although Hassan is studying full time for his master’s in Mathematics, their marital problems stem from culture.

His wife Kavita is an architect and they are both of Indian heritage, only Kavita is from the American East coast, and Hassan is from India. Throughout the whole story, we hear about how much in love Hassan is with his wife Kavit and how she controls all the furnishing in the apartment and has made them all white signifying blank spaces. She walks around naked while at home, even when she is cooking. Hassan relates his story to us in mathematical terms and perspectives. Hassan remembers back to before they found out they were pregnant and how happy they were. Now that the baby is on the way, the cultural influences and factors are being contributed and weighted more heavily by Hassan.

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Reading good fiction is conflicted with Kavita’s Americanization and want for physical attention. When he finds out she is pregnant, she leaves for a few hours and Hassan calls to consult his father but his father only argues with him because h ethinks that Hassan should have married the young twelve year old from India who had been pre-arranged for marriage with Hassan.

Kavita then builds up a habit of disappearing at night which leads Hassan to become nervous and eat a lot – he ends up putting on atou twenty pounds and recalls eating up to five hungry man breakfasts in one week!

One night, Hassan follows her and sees her enter the art and architecture building. He doesn’t go in; he only recounts his love for her. He follows her a second time and notices her hugging a blonde white male with blue eyes which infuriates him. He still doesn’t say anything.

On the third adventure of following his wife, he finally builds up the courage to enter the building and see what she is really doing. He walks into a classroom to find her at the center of it. She is naked and students surround her; they are painting her body.

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Hassan recalls that her belly lay there as “big and as round as the sun… only this hurts twice as mush as staring directly at the sun.” Hassan flips out and directs his anger towards the white blonde male with blue eyes. Clearly, this has become about culture and race in his eyes. After this event, the two do not speak for nine days.

On the ninth day, Hassan views her through some glass pieces that had been won in a contest. Hassan wrote a slogan for a company in which he was describing his wife. He views her through the glass and realizes that he doesn’t know how to make her happy.

He brings up the topic of namin their daughter after his mother. This is another cultural push to which Kavita responds, “Do you realize, you never look at me, I can’t rememnber the last time you even touched me.” Hassan’s immediate response to this is “but Kavita, you are all that I look at, you are all that I see.”

This was a very powerful ending because it is made clear throughout the story that Hasan is madly in love with his wife; they just have different ways of showing it. Kavita has been American ized so she is much more physical while Hassan grew up in INdia, so he is used to the more traditional sense of spirituality and respect for the woman’s privacy oher body.

Author, Emily Ishem Raboteau

“The pieces of colored glass were smooth and flattish and oblong, shaped like teardrops roughly the size of robin’s eggs.” Again, “the size of robin’s eggs” does not just tell us about the size, but also shape and texture and fragility. This image combined with “teardrops” makes me think of the color blue. “Teardrops” implies that they are translucent and glassy. It also impacts the mood of the piece, bringing in a sense of sadness.

“Kavita Through Glass” by Emily Ishem Raboteau:

The main focus of this story is definitely on the marital problems experienced by this couple. The origins of the problems do no t appear to be at all connected to the husband’s work as a mathematics grad student, rather, their communication problems stem from differences in culture and gender. So, in a sense, it is completely beside the point that he is a mathematician. But, that is the role that the mathematics play in the story. Mathematics is the thing in his life which is not affected by his personal problems, and for some real mathematician, mathematics does offer that sort of ‘escape’ from daily life.

Reading good fiction is hard to find, but reading Kavita Throught the Glass, is a must. It is beautifully written, and even thought I do not get the feeling that the author is particularly knowledgable about mathematics, the apprearance of mathematics is also well done.

On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how it may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Available for download below for Free as Epub PDF, and Mobi. All we ask is for an honest review!

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

     

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

     

    Intro

    On Writing Fear amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of
    horror resides. When I returned to study for my masters in English, the
    University was in tumult. The union of professors was on strike against
    the University. And of course, the students were pawns in the battle. As a
    student, I realized I was powerless in this situation, yet both the professors
    and University felt the need to deploy a rhetoric of fear. On the one hand, the
    school was threatening to lower our grades if we did not attend a class
    that was being covered by fill-in teachers and administrators, and on the
    other, we knew our teachers would be back so we didn’t want to show that
    we attended classes, and did not support them in their strike.

    Continuing
    their abuse of power, the University sent letters and emails to both
    students and their parents explaining that the students were still expected
    to attend class. The University then controlled its social media space and
    print by removing comments that were made regarding the strike – they
    wanted to continue as if nothing was going on. They were in control of the
    narrative and we were left to rumors. The school paper was not allowed to
    print any stories on the matter and the University was threatening to hold
    us accountable.

    We have other books specializing in Horror and sci-fi here. Thank you for your interest in “On Writing Horror.”

Mad Men Mad Men

  • Mad Men is a collection of three disturbing horror shorts from authors living in the Midwest. The themes explored in this collection range from man versus self, man versus man, and man versus creature. [caption id="attachment_4742" align="alignleft" width="188"]Mad Men eBook Mad Men eBook at Mind on Fire Books[/caption] Mad Men begins with Matt’s tale, a thought-provoking thriller that causes the reader to question his reality and what he fears within himself. The second tale explores the grotesque juxtaposed with beautiful nature, where the ending unfolds into a horrific dream, waking in even more terrible pain. The third tale is by seasoned horror writer, A.R. Braun – and his diabolical creatures never disappoint!  A.R. Braun’s goal is to be on the banned book list; we think this tale may just be evil enough to be considered. A must-read before it does get banned! Mainstream Horror Shorts don’t always satisfy us in the way they should. They don’t open conversations about what it is that we fear or why we fear such things, they focus mainly on pop culture and gore. The writers in the Mad Men anthology understand the need for literate horror, opening discussions of man’s psyche. When these writers set out to tell a story, they are less interested in conveying fear and more interested in wonder, the sublime, and the infinite strangeness that drives all men and women. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults. The Mad Men anthology was published by Mind on Fire Books. Written by Willy Martinez, A.R. Braun, and Matt Lavitt. No part of this book shall be copied without permission from the publisher.

Ghost Children Willy Martinez

  • The ghost children in “The Lost Ghost” and “The Wind in the Rose-Bush” are not restricted ghosts, and this is how these ghosts differ from the other ghosts of writers of Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman's time such as Henry James, Sarah Jewett or Ambrose Bierce. These apparitions may seem cute but think twice as these ghost children will leave you with goosebumps. This double feature of Mary E. Wilkins's short fiction is creepy enough to leave you sleeping with the lights on. Mary E. Wilkins was an American author born on October 31(Halloween), in 1852. She was at first dismissed as a serious writer because of her Feminine subjects. More recent scholarship has argued the importance of her work regarding spinster heroines or abandoned ghost children.

    The Lost Ghost

    The story of “The Lost Ghost” begins with two women conversing while they sew. Mrs. Meserve tells the story of a fine house that has just been rented but has been said to be haunted, declaring that she is done with haunted homes, yet she then goes into a story about her past experience with a haunted situation and the ghost story thus begins. As a young lady, Mrs. Meserve moved into a house with roommates, Mrs. Bird and Mrs. Dennison. Mrs. Meserve tells how she had just started school as a teacher and it was a cold year so she had a heavy coat to keep warm.
    One night while staying up she heard the sounds of a “very timid” knock with “little hands” at her door which she at first dismissed.
    She offered for them to enter but when they didn’t, Mrs. Meserve got up to check. She opened the door to the smell of what she associated with a cellar and noticed a little face holding up her heavy coat the little face says: “I can’t find my mother.” The child then flitters away and Mrs. Meserve calls to her landladies for help. The two roommates were aware of the hauntings and had come to accept the little ghost girl. Mrs. Meserve decided to stay regardless of the ghost and came to learn that the child had been poorly treated by her mother and father. The child was abandoned and found dead in one of the bedrooms by the townspeople. Then one morning Mrs. Bird wasn’t feeling too well and stayed in bed. During breakfast, Mrs. Meserve noticed a shadow walk by the window and when she got up to look she noticed the little girl walking hand in hand with Mrs. Bird. Mrs. Bird had died that morning.

    The Wind in the Rose Bush

    The second ghost story that will be examined is “The Wind in the Rose Bush”. This story is about a woman named Rebecca Flint traveling a great distance to bring back her niece Agnes to live with her. Rebecca’s sister had passed away and her sister’s husband had re-married. Rebecca came across some money and thought she would take her niece Agnes and raise her now that she had some money in the bank and also because she had no other family left. On her travels to find her niece she encounters the strangest of folks who either grunt at her or speak to her as an outsider, which adds to the resistance that Rebecca encounters on her journey. Rebecca arrives at the house and is greeted by Mrs. Dent, her niece’s stepmother.
    On the way into the house, Rebecca notices a pretty little rose bush being “agitated violently” except there was no wind.
    A short while later the two ladies are having tea and discussing the arrangements of having Agnes go home with her Aunt Rebecca when Rebecca sees Agnes pass by the window. The girl doesn’t enter and Mrs. Dent tells Rebecca that she must have been mistaken, Agnes never walked by. Rebecca stays the night and wakes the next day with still no sign of Agnes’s return. Mrs. Dent continues to make up excuses for Agnes not returning and Rebecca continues to be haunted by Agnes: she awakes at night by the sounds coming from the piano and also finds in her room that a dress was laid out with the rose from the rose bush lying on it. Rebecca continues to drill Mrs. Dent with questions but is forced to return home due to a letter she received calling her home to a sick cousin. Rebecca goes back home and through research and letter writing comes to find out that her niece Agnes had died a year ago; it was suspected to have been due to neglect but there was not enough evidence.
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