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Web Pick of the Week
Reviewer: 
Publishers Weekly
Source: 
Publishers Weekly

Thersa Matsuura. Counterpoint (PGW, dist.), $14.95 paper (192p) ISBN 9781582434896

"Inspired by Japanese folklore, Matsuura’s debut story collection is as clever as the mythical spirits and creatures who romp through her fable-like tales. Although her penchant is for the malevolent and unforgiving, , the humans who populate these seventeen stories are seldom innocent victims. Even when led astray by otherworldly tricksters (such as the oni in “The Seed of the Mistake”) or tortured by spiteful gods (like the God of Smallpox in “Yaichiro’s Battle”), it is the humans’ flaws – greed, cowardice, lack of compassion – that make them vulnerable. Matsuura depicts such failings insightfully, and, at her best, reveals them gradually. In a world brimming with shape-shifters, ghosts, and devils, belief in luck and superstition is rational and even skeptics soon become believers, but these are stories about the choices ordinary people make, and the sometimes devastating consequences of those choices." (May)

A Robe of Feathers and Other Stories