[Image description: A book cover entitled “Mosaics” featuring a mosaic of various women of various ethnicity.]
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.
“Mosaics” is an anthology complied for fundraising for the Pixel Project, a charity against violence against women. It features short stories, poems, and essays. It features a wide-range of topics and genres from slice of life, sci-fi, fantasy, and horror.
It is International Women’s Day, today on March 8th, 2016. It is no coincidence this was the chosen launch day of “Mosaics Vol. I”. The anthology was designed to be an intersectional, embracing work with the theme of “independent women”. Except for a few stumbling blocks I feel it achieved its end.
I based my overall rating on the average of the ratings of each story. I decided I am not going to cover each individual story in my review. I gave a mini-review and rating for each work which can be found on my GoodReads progress page. On average my score was four stars as seen above but I did have one low-end of two and a half stars and a few five stars ratings. So overall I saw quality work being offered.
One common theme is mother-daughter stories and I think this is one of the anthology’s strengths. I know why this is a theme women will often choose when they are presented their own space to write. It is because it is an often ignored and marginalized theme in our male-dominant society that has little value for the familial solidarity of women. I was glad to see it be prominent.
We do however also get to see women doing many things. They get to be monsters, lovers, barely surviving and thriving. We get to read an essay about a female gamer and a harsh satire of geek culture. We have poems about Princess Kaguya and the decay of American culture. It’s a fairly varied offering.
Nevertheless there are some places for improvement. I feel there were some things (and some were offensive) that could have been handled at the editorial stage without greatly altering the narrative of the story. If the editors want the work to be truly intersectional they may want to expand their staff a bit to include a few more points of view.
There is a Vol II in the works and I hope the above is a little bit more addressed and even more so in the possible Vol. III and IV. Nevertheless I understand the difficulty of the undertaking and for what the editors must have gone through with the submissions and editing it’s still very impressive. I just like this to be noted.
Of course we also won’t get to have more women-only anthologies without continuing support. It is a very worthwhile project I feel. I would definitely like to see this endeavor turn into a literary construct in of itself. I know personally the editors are willing to listen and for reasons of a true desire to be inclusive not because it’s a new literary “fad”.
So let’s try our best.