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Real, Magical
Date of Review: 
Skip Horack
The San Francisco Chronicle


REAL, magical



By Skip Horvack


In an essay titled "Good Readers and Good Writers," Vladimir Nabokov argued that, while major writers are both storytellers and teachers, "above all, a great writer is always a great enchanter."

And with Nabokov's dictate in mind, it is difficult to think of a better title for Thaisa Frank's captivating collection of new and selected stories than "Enchantment." The follow-up to Frank's recent novel "Heidegger's Glasses," as well as her third compilation of short fiction, "Enchantment" has a marvelous, dreamlike quality - the sort of book that is not so much read as it is experienced, a spellbinding blend of flash fiction, short stories and novellas that also move seamlessly and pleasingly from the concrete and the surreal, the historical and the fantastic (often within the same narrative).

Like many great story collections, "Enchantment" is a book that teaches the reader how to read it as they move through its pages, and with that passage from "The Mapmaker" to contemplate, it soon becomes apparent that Frank is writing what she knows about - that in her varied, imaginative and often metaphorical means of capturing emotional truth, she has created an honest, affecting and mesmerizing book, one that shines powerfully and unforgettably with that wonderful sense of enchantment of which Nabokov speaks."

EnCHANTMENT: New and Selected Stories