Up, Do: Flash Fiction by Women Writers
Edited By Patricia Flaherty Pagan
Spider Road Press, 112 pp., $7.00
Patricia Flaherty Pagan curated a masterful anthology of flash fiction in Up, Do. Ms. Pagan, an award winning author herself, distressed by the 2012 VIDA Count Report which revealed that American literary journals were publishing more written by men than by women, created a space to promote the equal treatment of women’s words. Up, Do does more than that; it is great fiction, period.
The four-part anthology is segmented by “Our Hearts,” “Our Bodies,” “Our Possible Futures,” and “Our Dreams; Our Nightmares.” Thirty-eight authors and artists are highlighted in the thirty-three stories and six images. Each piece is magnificent. Ms. Pagan located phenomenal works. Some of my favorites, and this is the narrowed down list, include: “To the Israeli Who Danced with Me on my Twenty-First Birthday” by Jessica Lynne Henkle, a tale of anonymity and wondering; “We Decided” by Kathryn Kulpa, a story of out-growing a youthful friendship due to a unique antagonist; “Perfection (‘This One’) by MaryEllen Baizley, a re-visioning of perfection; “Time Machine” by Melissa Webster, a chance to take back an unwelcome decision made on your behalf; “Orange Sky Preparation” by Marda Sikora, showcasing the demands of clairvoyant vision; and “The Dead Letters” by Diane Arrelle, a complicated situation that begets health and healing.
These are premier stories, in fact, I’ve read Up, Do twice as each is well executed and interesting. The helpful contributor section at the conclusion provides more information and often links. Ms. Pagan hit her target; she showcased talented women writers who deserved publication and I appreciate the thirty-eight introductions.