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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Strange Horizons -- April 30, 2018

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Strange Horizons, April 30, 2018

"Things That Happened While We Waited for Our Magical Grandmother to Die" by Kuzhali Manickavel

Reviewed by Mike Wyant, Jr.

If you're looking for a story that's easy to get into with likable characters and a clear structure, don't read this story. Manickavel takes you through a day/week/year/decade in the life of an unnamed narrator who—if this isn't a magical carnival of horrors—is clearly mentally ill. The central plot revolves around a woman named Mythili and her quest to finally leave a house that is both prison and home.

This isn't an easy story to read, but the further you get, the less able you are to stop. It sucked me in like a blind riptide by the end; I tried to stop and couldn't. I'm not sure if you'll find any deep meaning in Manickavel's story, or even any redeeming characters, but it's surely worth the short read if only for that sense of wonder it deviously hooks in you.


Mike Wyant, Jr. is an ex-IT guy, who has finally committed to a writing life out in the Middle of Nowhere, New York.