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by Laura Chester

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Author: Laura Chester
ISBN: 0977997596
Language: English
Pages: 212 pages
Category: Short Stories & Anthologies
Publisher: Bootstrap Productions (September 15, 2008)
Rating: 4.5
Formats: lit docx txt azw
FB2 size: 1199 kb | EPUB size: 1115 kb | DJVU size: 1410 kb
Sub: Fiction

Includes full-color illustrations by Haeri Yoo. In RANCHO WEIRDO, Laura Chester's new collection of short stories, life on the .

Includes full-color illustrations by Haeri Yoo. Chester's short fiction, accompanied by Haeri Yoo's quirky drawings, challenge our perceptions of the new Southwest-which Fiction. Includes full-color illustrations by Haeri Yoo.

Laura Chester, ww. aurachester.

Chester has selected prose and poetry from such writers as John Hawkes, Jane Smiley, Charles Bukowski, and . Lawrence, that delves into the sensual relationship between human and horse. Laura Chester, ww. com, has written many volumes of poetry, prose, and nonfiction.

Riding Barranca by Laura Chester - Horse and Rider Books. Laura Chester has published many volumes of poetry, prose and non-fiction.

Read online books written by Laura Chester in our e-reader absolutely for free. Author of Riding Barranca at ReadAnyBook.

Rancho Weirdo, by Laura Chester. Respected Sir, by Naguib Mahfouz. Revelation, by C. J. Sansom. Revolutionary Road, by Richard Yates. Rhino Ranch, by Larry McMurtry. Rimbaud, by Edmund White. River of Darkness, by Rennie Airth.

Discover Book Depository's huge selection of Laura Chester books online. Free delivery worldwide on over 20 million titles. Showing 1 to 30 of 37 results.

In her latest, Chester (Marvel the Marvelous, 2008, et. bursts forth on the page with 17 unpredictably fresh . bursts forth on the page with 17 unpredictably fresh short stories. An American Indian ghost called Grit inhabits a new home in the Southwest. A monster named Toy pours forth a ess confession.

Laura Chester, author of Rancho Weirdo. What a fashion designer sculpts in three dimensional clothing, Summer does with words, making alluring textural descriptions of several generations of an American family

Laura Chester, author of Rancho Weirdo. What a fashion designer sculpts in three dimensional clothing, Summer does with words, making alluring textural descriptions of several generations of an American family. We take a seat on a journey and view our collective culture through the clothes that tie these stories together.

Fiction. Includes full-color illustrations by Haeri Yoo. In RANCHO WEIRDO, Laura Chester's new collection of short stories, life on the U.S./Mexican border presents a clash of cultures and expectations that is explored with insight and dark humor. Chester's short fiction, accompanied by Haeri Yoo's quirky drawings, challenge our perceptions of the new Southwest--which includes snowbirds, illegal immigrants, Native Americans, ranchers, and cowboys--whose fates intertwine in the harsh and beautiful Arizona landscape. Laura Chester has edited six widely-praised literary anthologies, most recently Eros & Equus: A Passion for the Horse (Willow Creek Press), with exquisite black and white photographs by Donna DeMari. "RANCHO WEIRDO is a wonderful book and will thoroughly enliven any reader of serious fiction"--Jim Harrison.
Comments (7)
The short stories contained in Laura Chester's Rancho Weirdo are wonderfully weird, original, and fresh. They are also as sharp as broken glass, with its jagged pieces sending off flashes of light that beam understanding, sympathy and grace. I laughed out loud during the first stories and by the final installments, with the mood moving steadily towards the dark, I cried. Chester is an artist with words and images, wielding both her stories and her readers with ease: we bend as she curves the world, and our perceptions of it, around us.

Chester's characters range across all ages, all classes, and all genders (and there are more than two) and every one of them rings true: the rich Easterner building on western land sacred to Native Americans; the woman turning fifty and trying to make her day special; the girl forced to go bird-watching with her father; the man on a solitary vacation who meets up with a mysterious, silent, and athletic Muslim; the Catholic from New Orleans in love with her priest; the child scarred by September 11th and worse; and so on. The range is wide but the portrayal is focused and true: Chester knows her humans, and she has great pleasure, even in tragedy, in letting us in on the secrets. Although her stories crackle with wit, Chester is never laughing at her characters but always with them; she is always rooting for them, and we are too.

Rancho Weirdo lodges a wonderful collection of characters, presents a refreshing assortment of situations, and widens perceptions of what is normal: nothing is what it seems, after all, if you look closely enough. The searingly simple drawings of Haeri Yoo are the perfect accompaniment to Chester's stories, accentuating the "something not quite right but absolutely true" quality of Rancho Weirdo.
Face the Strange

Laura Chester's quirky 'Rancho Weirdo' may cause you to dream of new possibilities

By JARRET KEENE email the Weekly
Face the Strange
Buy this book from Amazon.com!

Rancho Weirdo, by Laura Chester. Bootstrap, $18.
Laura Chester can't seem do anything "the normal way."

Instead of simply writing a book of short fiction set in and around Southern Arizona, she enlists gifted New York City artist Haeri Yoo to supply a number of prominently displayed and beautiful illustrations. Rather than go with a Southwestern publisher, she chooses to hitch her wagon to Massachusetts-based indie house Bootstrap Productions. Eschewing a standard author photo, she is shown riding a horse in an unlikely effort to demonstrate her cowgirl bona fides.

Everything Chester, who lives part-time in Patagonia, does seems a bit off-kilter, which makes sense, since Rancho Weirdo, her new story collection (actually, many of these works appeared in her 1991 book, Bitches Ride Alone), is about as quirky as contemporary American fiction gets.

I mean quirky in a good way, of course. The characters who populate Chester's fictional universe break the rules--of literary realism, for instance--and create tension in the reader's mind about what they'll say and do next. Rancho Weirdo clears the aesthetic sinuses, causing you to wonder what else can be done in the literature of the Southwest, so much of which tends to recycle the same tropes, ideology and earnest multicultural stance. This isn't to say Chester eschews multiculturalism; how could she write about the culture-clash that defines Arizona otherwise? But she is definitely more lighthearted, comical and fun than the vast majority of the university press authors who cover similar territory. There are illegal immigrants, Native Americans, cowboys and ranchers in Chester's fiction, but they are unpredictable and darkly humorous.

In the book's opening story, "True or Untrue, Grit," a New York snowbird wife finds her house being built on a Native American holy site and haunted by the presence of an unnamed Indian she ends up calling Grit. It's a tale filled with black comedy, as when Grit insists the unnamed narrator learns to eschew technology like plumbing:

"Listen," Grit said, cupping his hand to his ear and motioning to the hole.

I got down on my hands and knees and listened intently. It sounded like--like what?

"You know," Grit said.

"A toilet flushing."

"Yes," Grit nodded. "Exactly. Sacred Mountain disturbed. You can not flush toilet at base of Sacred Mountain."

"But modern people have to have bathrooms."

"Use that." He pointed to the bright green Porta-Potty that we were still renting for the crew.

Chester's humor isn't limited to poop jokes. Her story "Keyboard and Knives" is a gender-bending ditty designed to poke fun at the obvious ways in which we use clothing and accessories to signal our feminine and masculine identities:

After my first youthful bout with tom-boyishness, I imposed a strict femininity upon myself. I ironed my hair and wore pale pink lipstick. I talked on my princess phone for hours beneath the canopy of my twin-sized bed, wore mini-skirts, faux-fur boleros, black patent leather over-the-knee boots. What gave me away was my size 12 shoe. I could only get heels at the Tall Girls Shoe Store along with the rest of the transvestites.

Rancho Weirdo is not all fun and games. Less amusing is a story like "Don't Tell Daddy," in which an East Coast camp for troubled kids (who survived the Sept. 11 attacks) revolts against the counselors. This particular tale--in addition to its geographical setting--is so radically different from what has come before that it seems out of place in the collection. Fortunately for readers, Chester doesn't let her characters preach on the evils of child abuse or terrorism; instead, they are empowered by roiling emotions and eager to re-fashion their lives outside the label of "victim."

Adding to the quirky tone of Rancho Weirdo are the compelling illustrations by Yoo, whose imagery is as disturbing as it is playful. Initially, the inclusion of such mixed-media drawings struck me as better-suited for a children's book or graphic novel, but then it dawned on me that there was once a more prominent place for illustrations in literary fiction, especially in the earlier part of the 20th century, and that art and writing aren't mutually excusive enterprises: They can complement each other rather than compete.

Rancho Weirdo contains short and powerful bursts of quirky short fiction that will get readers--and even writers--dreaming about new possibilities for American literature, which today seems to be deeper in the doldrums than ever before. Chester's book is bound to transform your idea of what you can expect from a story strangely and expertly told.

Rancho Weirdo by Laura Chester with drawings by Haeri Yoo exposes the nakedness of the naive and "The Baghdad Café like life" of living along the border that has a language of its own. Spanish and English are integrated in the idiom of the prose, reflecting the language of the border communities spoken and broken and the dialect of the Diaspora. Laura Chester deliciously voices this in her burnt around the edges, uncommonly clear, writing style.

It reads like all the various cuts of beef. If it's chuck or round, then you'll need to marinate and cook S-L-O-W-L-Y to tenderize it. But if it's rib, and written by a woman, it will already be tender. The outside is seared, the flavor locked in, but it's kept raw.

17 short stories are written in vivid boldness, evoking the rawness of human emotion, with the descriptive word leaving mesquite smoke to linger around like unvoiced thoughts.

This book carries the broken resonance of a sonnet with subtly instructive neorealism. It is genuine and uncontrived. Read it out loud with a friend in bed and it's funny and vividly present. Listen in between the lines to its essential ingredient of salty dialogue and it's disturbing.

The quirky magic hidden in the patterns of the ordinary. Imaginative potentialities disturbing like flesh itself.

All of this emerges in these bedtime stories for adults. They are sound bits of literature with the beat of an untainted heart.

Recommend it to lovers of speculative fiction, especially those who have a taste for fantasy and the politically incorrect.

Food and a good book. Back at the ranch, fear no gristle, but chew.