The most recent issue of Ginosko Literary Journal includes a superb review of Janet Hamill’s excellent short story collection, Tales from the Eternal Café. The review penned by poet and literary critic Diane Manister
In her insightful comments, Manister notes:
Hamill’s art is one of implication. Unlike stories that establish their backgrounds and resolve loose ends, her tales start in medias res and end enigmatically, leaving her readers delightfully puzzled and, with a little thought, a bit enlightened. Like Salinger and Hemingway among prose writers, she doesn’t tell all, but invites us to connect the dots. Similar themes of doubling, disappearances, mysticism and magic run through them, presented as deadpan reportage.
Further on, she reveals:
Just as Baudelaire finds the sacred in the world of nature and sensations, Tales from the Eternal Cafe re-sacrilizes the secular world. Like the so-called Magical Realist writers Gabriel Maria Marquez, Juan Luis Borges and Italo Calvino, Hamill’s writing in this book and in her poetry encourages a disposition of openness to the impossible becoming possible.
After discussing several stories in detail, which provides an added layer of meaning for the reader similar to the film reviews of Pauline Kael, Manister concludes:
Like Borges’ Ficciones, Hamill’s Tales from the Eternal Café is a compilation of stories that are explicit as narratives but enigmatic at the thematic level. By following her threads we can reach her meaning: epiphany is still possible beyond theology, and the sacred is not absent from the ordinary speckled and dappled things of life. It can be found if we are open to its presence.
Ginosko Literary Journal is available for free download at http://www.ginoskoliteraryjournal.com/images/ginosko15.pdf.
Tales From the Eternal Cafe is available directly from Three Rooms Press, or through major book stores at http://threeroomspress.com/authors/janet-hamill/