Sunday, July 09, 2006

Make Me Over, edited by Marilyn Singer

In a series of 11 short stories, the authors explore the many various meanings of remaking ourselves and changing who we are. The highlights include a wallflower who gains confidence by tricking a group of cheerleaders into imagining that he's French; an owl that transforms itself into a human being to win the love of an Indian maiden; and a newly arrived immigrant at Ellis Island who must choose what parts of her past to keep as she pursues her future.

As with all collections, some of the stories are stronger than others, but what I was impressed with overall was the very different interpretations each author took of the collection's theme. I expected to read 11 angst-ridden stories of young women doing make-overs. But instead was treated to some amazingly creative visions of the various ways that people (and animals!) can change themselves to become something better. Inspiring reading.

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