“Monkeys of the Sea”

This week, the Mugsters will be reading “Monkeys of the Sea” by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig. It was published in the Spring 2010 Issue of Glimmer Train Stories. How did I find this story? 50 cents at a book sale, and I fell into a “fishbowl of drowning people,” vanishing taxi cab passengers, and chanting to the rhythm of a Beyonce song. The author sweeps you through a murky surreal world in the moments before and after a tidal wave. And somehow keeps a sense of humor through it all. Enjoy.

Here are a couple questions to think about for discussion:

1) How did this piece successfully (or unsuccessfully) straddle the sureal world and real world?

2) After reading this story, I still wondered about…

3) Did the exotic and oftentimes hilarious cultural traditions detract or enhance your emotional reaction to the tidal wave?

4) Take a look at the author’s movement through time. Did you ever get lost?

If we happen to come up with anything profound or hilarious at this week’s meeting, I’ll post it next week. But I make no promises that we will be either.




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