TRoE in The News International

Lara Stapleton’s The Ruin of Everything is reviewed in The News International, Pakistan’s largest English language newspaper! Gratitude to author and book critic Moazzam Sheikh.

“In Lara Stapleton’s The Ruin of Everything, stories dealt with issues of bifurcated identities and self-confidence or the lack thereof in the lives of Filipino Americans and how they negotiate their conflicting, slippery claims on the New York and/or Manila states of mind.”

Eileen Tabios Engages TROE

“If you could only read one of the nine short stories, “New” makes the release of the entire book worthwhile. And “Flesh and Blood” also passed my key test as not just a reader but a writer: the story made me want to run to my own pen or keyboard to write. The stories are engaging but the writing is also a writer’s writer’s delight: characterizations are not just deep but sumptuous, structures are not just innovative but fresh, and the narratives are both finely detailed but interspersed with psychological caesuras for maximizing the reader’s inhabitance.”

Continue reading Tabios’ engagement of Lara Stapleton’s The Ruin of Everything in The Halo-Halo Review.

The Writers Room Spotlights Osterman

Writers Room Executive Director Donna Brodie recently interviewed
Jeanne-Marie Osterman. What inspired Shellback? And what’s a “shellback”? Continue reading.

“My three themes—the love between parent and child, the tragedies of war, and caring for a parent in old age—are themes I think a lot of people can relate to. To help the manuscript hold together, I made them my focus.”

Alfred Yuson reviews The Ruin of Everything

Award-winning writer and literary critic Alfred A. Yuson reviews Lara Stapleton’s The Ruin of Everything:

“…Stapleton appears to have set out to navigate crisscrossing lives by simply allowing the characters, especially the I-persona, to adjudicate between everyday instances of hope and anguish… The navigation is skillfully conducted through shifting maps of loneliness, angst, and the occasional ruin of everything. The inherent intricacies develop a matrix of resultant debris that keeps the story-telling in the throes of deep engagement.” Read full review here.

Reader review of The Ruin of Everything

Do you look for faces of people you know when you read? Or do you meander and pause in amusement when you recognize a face in a different name? Do you look for yourself?

This collection of short stories by Stapleton — her second — offers more than a dozen characters at the center and in peripherals who are at once distant and familiar. But the center, which often cannot hold, shifts constantly. There are hipsters and hitchers, blesseds and bastards, stars and solitaries, nurturing traumas and aspirations, regrets and redemptions.

Stapleton often eschews the traditional arc of storytelling. Some read like expanded character sketches, though the story is IN the characters. This is not to say the narratives lack emotions — they are embedded in each character, affirmed or denied by their respective coteries. After all, aren’t we the sum of all lives we touched and denied?

Stapleton reminds us that though sometimes each of us may be an island, we are only part and parcel of an archipelago. And if it’s true that it takes a village to raise a child, the same is true in creating a ruin.

—Victor Velasco