By Kristi Chadwick
Award-winning author Shawl (Everfair) transports readers into stories filled with politics, feminism, and Afrofuturism. This slim collection of previously unpublished short works highlights Shawl’s unique prose and talent. In “Walk Like a Man,” virtual reality cannot stop the actions of high school girl packs.
The intersection of commerce and worship mixes with altars, ritual, sex, and talking dolls in “Women of the Doll.” A British singer finds a reflection that reveals a haunted future in “Something More.” A dive into illness leads to “An Awfully Big Adventure.”
VERDICT: Along with a university presentation and interview that intersects everything from divinity to modern technology and belief to science, Shawl’s light prose takes the weight, but not the meaning, out of heavier topics with her signature use of dreamy language and realistic settings.