Courtesy Carolina Wren Press

Donna Miscolta’s Short Stories Are a Balm For Our ‘Troubulent’ Times

The Seattle author’s new book ‘Hola and Goodbye,’ is a reminder that monsters will never win.

Fairly or unfairly, short stories set in the domestic sphere of the American 20th Century tend to live in the shade of the two famous white Johns, Updike and Cheever. These two have become synonymous with the mid-century ennui of the upper middle class, a style which has been parodied and mocked and prized apart with postmodern angst and fastidiously replicated by sincere young writers, even to this day, in mainstream literary journals.

I confess to thinking of the Johns as I read the linked stories in Hola and Goodbye, the newest book by Seattle author Donna Miscolta. I imagined the protagonist of an Updike story gently sniffing his disgust when one of the Mexican immigrants in Miscolta’s stories gets too close to him on public transit, or clutching her purse closer to her side when she accidentally finds herself driving through their neighborhoods on the poorer side of town. (Before we get too far into the review, for the sake of full disclosure it must be said that Miscolta has written for my site, The Seattle Review of Books, and taken a book-reviewing class SRoB’s founders taught at Hugo House.)

Read the rest of this review in the print edition of Seattle Weekly or online here at Seattle Review of Books.

Paul Constant is the co-founder of The Seattle Review of Books. Read daily books coverage like this at seattlereviewofbooks.com.

More in Arts & Culture

Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly take the stage as Laurel and Hardy. 
Photo by Nick Wall/Sony Pictures Classics
‘Stan & Ollie’ and the Art of Playing Comedic Geniuses

Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly carry the story of legendary duo Laurel and Hardy.

Quadrant and Iris performing at Le Bikini nightclub in France. Photo by Thomas Feugas
Seattle’s First Family of Drum and Bass

Leigh and Karen Caplan (Quadrant and Iris) are key producers in Seattle thriving underground electronic music scene.

The interrogation of Parolles serves as one of the comedic highlights in ‘All’s Well That Ends Well.’ Photo by John Ulman
‘All’s Well’ Doesn’t End Well

Despite strong performances and comedic zest, it’s hard to not get hung up on the befuddling ending of Seattle Shakespeare’s latest production.

On Being Trans: J Mase III Creates a Space to Feel Welcome

The Seattle artist hosts a three-day event at Gay City.

Appropriately, Tacoma Art Museum’s new Benaroya Wing gives a splash of glass 
                                to the building’s facade. Photo by Benjamin Benschneider
Tacoma Art Museum Opens New Benaroya Wing With Dazzling Glass

Stunning glass trees by Debora Moore highlight the addition’s initial offerings.

Tomasz Kot and Joanna Kulig simmer as musicians in love in <em>Cold</em> <em>War</em>. Photo by Lukasz Bak
The Warm Musical Romance of ‘Cold War’

The gorgeous Polish tale of love behind the Iron Curtain would be a layup for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in a non-‘Roma’ year.

Why can’t we all just get along? Lynch, Crocetto, and Rawls in ‘Il trovatore.’ Photo by Jacob Lucas
Seattle Opera’s High C’s Adventure

Turns out a conventional approach is best for Verdi’s notoriously implausible ‘Il trovatore.’

Most Read