Boundless Deep, and Other Stories
by Gen Del Raye
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Pub Date 01 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 31 Aug 2023
At the funeral of her old boss, a grandmother confronts the legacy of the draft letters she delivered as a girl during World War II. Facing the loss of his job, a father becomes the caricature strangers have always believed him to be. A graduate student living far from home is worn down by the reality of what it takes to save even a small piece of the world. Along the way, we meet communist revolutionary Shigenobu Fusako hiding out in a Tokyo hotel, submariner and war criminal Nishina Sekio in his tortured dreams, and Edwin, a half-dolphin friend, wreaking havoc in a public pool. Written in the compressed style of Amy Hempel and Lucia Berlin, these stories examine characters whose struggles submerge them, weighing them down from every angle, until they can finally float free.
A Note From the Publisher
The Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction Series
“Gen Del Raye’s Boundless Deep, and Other Stories is a moving, shape-shifting collection that examines life at the margins of belonging. Haunted by war, ghosts, sea creatures, and existence itself, Del Raye’s characters are straddling worlds, wedging themselves into whatever space they can fit. With the emotional precision and imagery of a poet, and the nimble ear of a translator, Del Raye’s prose is charming, surprising, and abundant in empathy.”—Cecily Wong, author of Diamond Head and Kaleidoscope
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 5 members
I absolutely love this collections overall. There was so much depth and human emotion. With several of the stories, it felt so real. As if these stories were things I had experienced in my life as well. How truly real feeling each one was amazed me.
The first story could not have been more perfect. The truth of depression, racism and the fear of expressing mental illness struggles was so real. And then for it to continue into the next story provided even more bleak but truth to the human experience. I cannot say which was a favorite or one that stood out the most. Each one was unique.
As for a down side, I do think some of the middle stories were a bit disjointed. The one of the half dolphin, while fit with themes of other stories, felt out of place. At times, these middle stories pulled me out of the collection.
On a final note, I think this collection is one that should grace the shelves of everyone. It has a strong connection to what it is like to be a human. What it is like to live everyday.
"boundless deep, and other stories" is a collection of short stories that explore japanese and japanese-american identity. they are quirky, bold, and extremely relevant snapshots into the life of gen, a boy with a japanese mother and a white american father. gen is so open and vulnerable that you can't help but love him. the other characters are brilliant and striking as well.
i loved how odd these stories were and i couldn't put this book down. there were a few stories i disliked, mainly the one about sports, but that is just personal preference. gen del raye writes with such passion and honesty, it is clear that these stories were a labor of love.
thank you to netgalley and the publisher for an arc in exchange for an honest review.