A Guide to Being Born: Stories by Ramona Ausubel

A Guide to Being Born

You CAN judge a book by its cover. Perhaps that’s not fair to Ausubel, whose book stands on merits far beyond its colorful, fantastic cover. But that’s what first attracted me to this book, and happily, the contents within proved to be every bit as fantastic and engaging.

I was enchanted by the opening tale of a ship carrying a cargo of puzzled grandmothers. Where were they? How had they gotten there? Where were they going? The dream haze of the story slowly clears as one of the grandmothers recognizes and embraces her journey.

I also loved Magniloquence, which features an auditorium of professors waiting for a speaker to arrive. They wait and wait, and as they wait, inhibitions are shed and speeches are improvised and many cookies are surreptitiously eaten.

Love is at the core of each of these stories, and in most cases, that love is sure and calm and gentle. And sometimes it is odd, and sometimes oddly compelling, as in Poppyseed, when two parents employ unorthodox means to honor their disabled daughter.

Ausubel’s writing is exquisite. Enter this book with an open mind and enjoy the strange and moving beauty.

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