Forgetting English by Midge Raymond is a collection of eight, unrelated short stories united by a common theme—self-discovery. Each main character is a woman, at a crossroad in her life, who has chosen to leave home. The stories focus on the motives behind why these ordinary Americans decide to travel to foreign lands (including Tonga, Japan, and Antarctica) and the consequential changes that occur due to their extra-ordinary environment. Why is it, that once outside our comfort zones, we are able to make discoveries about ourselves?
Forgetting English is an entertaining collection of remarkably insightful stories. It was unlike any other volume I’ve read before. The characters were well-developed and memorable. The endings were both satisfying and thought-provoking. After finishing this short story collection, I wanted to read more like it. I would recommend this book to all readers—even those who say they don’t like short stories.
An excerpt from my favorite story, The Ecstatic Cry, was read by the author on Writers Out Loud: Literature for the Ear. To listen, click here.
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