The epigraph for Megan Mayhew Bergman's Birds of a Lesser Paradise says it all: "We will now discuss in a little more detail the Struggle for Existence." The quote comes from Charles Darwin, a figure that hovers over this collection like a storm cloud; threatening, beautiful, menacing. Close.
Bergman's stories feature women embattled, with themselves, their lovers, their parents, their politics, and with nature. They are, in many ways, hardened women, who speak with the hot blankness of a Lydia Davis character:
"You can keep the silver, he said. And the dining room set. Anything, really."
"I don't care, I said. That stuff only matters to women who need men."
The women, collectively, are in their 30s or older, newly single, soon-to-be-single, living by themselves, with pets, or with their aged parents. In all cases, they are unquestionably alone, seeking to solve the question...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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