Review of Mariah Young's New Collection
Masha'allah and Other Stories by Mariah Young
"The foam thread clings to your hands like spiderwebs, thin and elusive as that thought in the dark..."
Masha’allah and Other Stories by Mariah K. Young is an award winning compilation of stories set in Oakland, California that has just been released this month. It was the winner of the James D. Houston Award for 2012 and lives up to its expectations.
I have to say first and foremost that I am not a fan of short story compilations, but decided to read this to broaden my reading prospectus. I’m glad I did.
Young’s writing is that of which creative writing teachers exemplify in their teachings. It is filled with prose and characters that are well thought out and meticulously positioned until what is laid before the reader is sincere art.
The stories range from a story of a boy growing up in a rough neighborhood, a lonely migrant worker hoping and working for a better future, a cab driver getting more than he expected after a pick-up, a house cleaner who dreams of owning a salon and more. All these stories are real and dig deep into the various cultures and dreams of the motley of ethnicities that is California and actually America.
My favorite story was the one of the lonely migrant worker who ached for his love back home and struggled to find a way to work and heal all at the same time. I found it to be so incredibly complete. From the way the man spoke amongst friends in a slang that only one who has been around this type of banter could know. It was hard for me to believe that it was the writing of someone so young and not of that sort of background.
Mariah Young has written a true collection worth reading. In my opinion it is the fabric of what writing should be swathed. Each story puts you in the life of a culture that begs for understanding. I look forward to what Mariah Young has in store for the future.