Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Incendiary Girls by Kodi Scheer
The eleven stories in Incendiary Girls challenge the reader to explore parts of the human brain and human emotions they rarely think of. The stories contain fantastical elements; a lover who changes into a camel, a man who unknowingly contained male and female anatomies and is now pregnant, a Death Angel who is pleased to wrongly predict an early death. The stories also contain references to medical knowledge. Many of the narrators either are studying medicine or interact with medical surroundings.
What the reader experiences is an exploration of how humans react in extraordinary circumstances. Even in extremis, we tend to reach out and search for connection with those around us who can help us weather difficulties. Most of the characters reach resolution in some way, either by overcoming the circumstances they encounter or by accepting that their lives have changed and things will be different from the norms they have lived with.
Kodi Scheer teaches writing at the University of Michigan. Her stories have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Iowa Review and other publications. She has won the Dzanc Prize for Excellence in Literary Fiction and Community Service. Readers who read these stories will be challenged and enriched by human experiences not commonly encountered but that explore human limits. This book is recommended for anthology readers and those interested in the human experience.