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  • "A Clear View of the Southern Sky: Stories," by Mary Hood - Southern Literary Review
    this time he s neither needy nor displaced and was a marine He coached hockey But is he capable of teaching Yara and the other women inmates to find another framework for these women to respond to the demand of openness and a more genuine imaginative clear view of the southern sky More so what kind of corrections are necessary in a correctional institution The conclusion to the story is quick but in an ironic way on the basis of this man who has learned the manic clarity of issues during a firefight who has raised five children a boy a girl and a mixed gender set of triplets what was punishment for these women week after week becomes something more than learning English They ve been cheated and babysat it s time he says which is what Yara and these women have in abundance to deliver up the soul The students lie or sit with eyes closed in silence Anybody may initiate a dream which may be the beginning of a real dream they have had or simply an image that has come to their mind Others may join in at any time to add details or to move the action along Gradually a composite dream emerges The point of course is less the rules and more the combined imaginations of these women these inmates finding common emotional dimensions rather than writing about the kind of clothes they may or may not find attractive on a man In fact the group is no longer muted and they are not part of a subculture But there s one more point to be made This ESL world in this prison is guarded if not rigidly patriarchal But Yara can write in any language she chooses since all language is acceptable The provision however is this When she tells the teacher her story in as perfect English sentences as she can make she has to translate for him It could be argued of course that a translation is inadequate to understand a woman inmate s experience I suspect rather that the translation is less to emphasize the duality of feminine culture within the general culture but more the need to transform so the group follows the same language This extraordinary story seems to suggest as much when t Mist Steve pulls on his jacket and prepares to leave and says briskly See you next time It s part of this circle this next time because they have not known before that it is up to them Yara s paper has been returned the first thing she has received in this correctional institution with corrections on it she wants to know what she feels so she can write it in her journal But there is no word for it in English Not Yet Mad Woman in the Attic is the fourth story in the collection and may allude to The Madwoman in the Attic a landmark collaborative work in feminist literary criticism by

    Original URL path: (2016-04-27)
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