“Send Me Work” by Katherine Karlin (Northwestern University Press, 159 pages, $17.95)
An oil worker. An aspiring welder. A fish-tank maintenance worker. A professional symphony musician. A subtitle translator. These women are among the characters K-State professor Katherine Karlin introduces in her story collection “Send Me Work.”
And though the stories center on workplaces and women in them, they’re also about relationships. Mainly the relationships we forge at work: easy camaraderie and uneasy alliances.
Karlin’s tight writing is perfectly suited to her character studies. She drops in telling details here and there — one character is “a native English speaker but had second-language tics, like starting sentences with ‘But’ apropos of nothing” — but we never get too close to her people. We can see into their worlds, deeply at times; we can think we understand what they are dealing with and why they make the decisions they do; but in the end we know we are not of their worlds.
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That’s not a knock — good literature lets us peer into another life or time. Sometimes it takes on a you-are-there feel, and other times it’s more like looking in through a window. Karlin gives us a look into other lives but doesn’t envelop; regardless, we can see a lot about something without being part of it. And we see that not only do people shape their work, but their work shapes them, in ways that reach far beyond the time clock.
Author to discuss book on local feminism
Local author and poet Myrne Roe has compiled and edited a book of essays on the women’s rights movement in Wichita, writings that detail and illuminate a decade of historic change for women and the stories of the women involved.
"Radiating Like a Stone: Wichita Women and the 1970s Feminist Movement" — which comprises 69 essays by 79 contributors — will be released Tuesday. Roe will give a presentation and signing at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Watermark Books, 4701 E. Douglas.
Kansas poet featured in national anthology
Chris O’Carroll, a poet from Emporia, has two works — a comic sonnet and a double dactyl — featured in the first anthology from the poetry journal “The Barefoot Muse.” The journal showcases formal and metrical poetry.
“The Best of the Barefoot Muse” will be released Tuesday.