Deserts of sand and deserts of the heart, Middle Eastern deserts and American deserts: Two Deserts, a collection of stories, spans cultures and deserts. Adventure travel agent Emma Solace plunges into the impossible conflicts in an Arabian Gulf country. Her circles embrace her radically political lover Samir, 17 year-old Ayshah yearning for freedom, Muslim mother Maryam plotting to rescue her son from a jihadist movement. Writer Livia Skyer plummets into the heart desert when ALS, aka Lou Gehrig's disease strikes her beloved husband. Her circles include a hooker who is training her daughter for the life, an academic whose lust is depleting, a club of women whose husbands are dying, a priest who has fallen in love from the pulpit. A fierce and compassionate storyteller, Brickman's ability to articulate the deep and invisible currents of life is eloquent and remarkable.
|Publisher:||Hopewell Publications, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||4.90(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Julie Brickman's Two Deserts is a tender, wide-ranging collection that captures the essence of as varied a cast as a hooker,a group of women whose husbands are dying, and a Muslim mother. The superbly crafted stories tantalize, beginning with their titles: "The Cop, the Hooker, and the Ridealong" and "The Dying Husbands Dinner Club." The stories do not disappoint. Of note is the sophisticated yet heartbreaking tale "Gear of a Marriage" which employs lists to tell the story of the beginning of a blissful marriage to the slow death of a spouse. While we are anticipating the end, it's still gut wrenching. Seldom does one have the pleasure of reading stories that cover such emotional and geographical expanses. While I found that each story was very different, they all collectively added to my knowledge base of what it is to be human. What more can one ask of a book?
I found Two Deserts remarkably refreshing. Some stories are interconnected, while some are not, yet each explores a unique and thought-provoking facet of the human experience. Love, loss, lust, desire, sexual orientation, death, feminism, sexism, religion, adolescent egocentrism—you name it, Brickman rocked it. From sensory detail packed exploration of faraway lands to a male professor coping with contentious-female-student-induced impotence to the poetic and heart-wrenching list of essentials purchased by someone losing a spouse with a debilitating terminal illness, male and female readers alike will find an abundance of moments to connect with and reflect upon. Given the current state of world affairs, I have been neck deep in articles about the conflict in Syria, so beginning a collection with a number of stories set in the Middle East written by an author with the ability to craft sense of place with such intricate realism immediately told me that I was in good hands. Brickman further solidified her permanent place on my favorite authors list with enchantingly subtle moments of character development such as in “The Night at the Souk” when Emma refers to her own Arabic as “butchered” and endearingly croons, “Arabiana,” a self-proclaimed nickname inspired by her love of the strange new land she’s struggling to confidently navigate. Undoubtedly, a western girl of my own heart, Emma experiences all of the same worries and concerns I imagine myself experiencing if I were in her sandals on a self-conscious quest to finesse Middle Eastern commerce and purchase the native garb intending to don it with respect, all the while fearful of reproach. And I haven’t even begun to comment on “The Cop, the Hooker and the Ridealong!” This woman is a master story teller. Highly recommended.