So this blogging thing is weird. I started it because I wanted to make sure I was reading each day but then it has morphed into me reviewing pieces of writing for teachers. My thinking is that these reviews and discussions could be helpful for some teachers when they are planning lessons. My problem is one of motivation. When it was an idea and it was just for me, it was awesome and I was excited. Now that it's kind of to help others, it is seriously depressing when I see less than 50 people have looked at the blog the last couple days. So..... I'm gonna try to forget that's it's for other people. I am now writing the blog while thinking that only one person is reading this and that person teaches English. And that if more than one person looks at the blog it is a bonus.
Dumpling Night by Jessica Westhead
I really enjoyed this slice of life short story. Westhead's style isn't like Raymond Carver's sparse or minimalist style, but there was something in this story that reminded me of Carver. The story is a first-person narrative told by Glenn while at a Chinese food buffet on "Dumpling Night." Much of the story is dialogue between the family and pseudo family, although Glenn tends to break from the narrative and ramble a bit (which adds greatly to the story).
Story: 9 of 10
I don't know if this story would be for everyone but it is for me. I love the narrator who you can't quite trust as being reliable. I love the awkward moment at the end. I love the digression the narrator takes. I love the detail of the opening paragraph (I think I've been to that Chinese restaurant!). This is just a very pleasant read and I'll seek out more of Westhead's writing.
Teachability: 9 of 10
I'm not sure how much kids will enjoy the story but it's short enough it doesn't matter much. I will definitely use this when I teach voice. I will also use it as an excellent example of point-of view. This is a nice story to add to my collection.