MADELEINE THIEN SIMPLE RECIPES PDF

Read Excerpt Simple Recipes There is a simple recipe for making rice. My father taught it to me when I was a child. Back then, I used to sit up on the kitchen counter watching him, how he sifted the grains in his hands, sure and quick, removing pieces of dirt or sand, tiny imperfections. He swirled his hands through the water and it turned cloudy. When he scrubbed the grains clean, the sound was as big as a field of insects. Over and over, my father rinsed the rice, drained the water, then filled the pot again.

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Yet when his son chokes furiously on the food, the father beats him. How to reconcile such contradictions and still love? This exquisite — and exquisitely painful — story is seen through the eyes of a child, as are most of the other seven stories here.

Sometimes there is a brother, sisters. Sometimes the parents are immigrants from Malaysia or Indonesia. The mother is diligent, working herself to exhaustion, the father loving, hopeful, worried. Or sometimes the mother is crazy, drunk, dying, disappearing in some way or another. These finely crafted stories are about learning to live with grief, to move beyond it. They are about finding how to hope when all the hope these young eyes have seen has been slowly extinguished.

The descent is inexorable: we want to shout, Do something! Then the cumulative grief is quietly, miraculously leavened by the persistent strength of family, and love. Sensuous and concrete, these stories feel near-perfect. The reader may hope that by writing them, Thien has played out some of the pain behind them, and will begin to soar.

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Canadian Short Story: Madeleine Thien’s “Simple Recipes” (2)

Not sure what will come of it, but we will see where it takes me. This blog is dedicated to the arts. Here I will post poems or stories I write, pictures I sketch, draw, or take, books I read, music I love, ideas or thoughts I have. There is no limit. Here is where my inspiration will flow and my talents can emerge.

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Madeleine Thien

Yet when his son chokes furiously on the food, the father beats him. How to reconcile such contradictions and still love? This exquisite — and exquisitely painful — story is seen through the eyes of a child, as are most of the other seven stories here. Sometimes there is a brother, sisters. Sometimes the parents are immigrants from Malaysia or Indonesia. The mother is diligent, working herself to exhaustion, the father loving, hopeful, worried.

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SIMPLE RECIPES

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