books & writing

Added to my bookshelf … “Legacy: An Anthology”

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“What’s in a word,” an English teacher once asked me as I sought just the right expression for the thoughts I wished to convey in a composition assignment. The editors of “Legacy: An Anthology” have assembled an insightful, absorbing – and entertaining! – answer to that question.

“Legacy,” they tell us in an opening note to this collection of short stories, “is anchored in our daily lives from our first breath to well beyond our last. Present in our collective memories, it is inevitable.” Sometimes, the book that follows will struggle to live-up to its foreword … but such was not the case here, where authors with diverse backgrounds and writing styles share their take on the idea of legacy.

Some, such as Vickie Lesage’s “Apfelstrudel,” draw upon recent history while others, such as Stephanie Carrol’s “Forget Me Not,” delve lightly into the supernatural. There are others, such as Regina Calcaterra’s “A Forever Home,” that are not at all works of fiction … not creative, but expository expressions of fact in today’s world.

And that’s just a sampling. Be advised, though … with so many different writers, styles and subjects, there’s bound to be some stories the reader enjoys more – or less – than others. Me, I didn’t enjoy Kristopher Jansma’s “The Uraniums” or Lizzie Harwood’s “How to Raise Cats in a Paris Apartment” so much as the stories I listed in the previous paragraph … but I am glad I read them, nonetheless. They contributed to a better understanding and appreciation I now have for the word “legacy” and what that word can mean for different people, in different times and different settings …

… and a realization that our legacy may not take the form of a grand mausoleum or a prominent place in the history books – but it is something that will have meaning, and will resonate with those who follow … a statue alongside a river, a special evening of music, a notebook, a quilt or a crop of forget-me-nots.

Through this book, that is what’s now in the word “legacy” for me. I strongly recommend you give it a read as well, and find out for yourself what’s in a word.

NOTE: I received a copy of this work through LibraryThing in exchange for a review.

There's a saying around here, something like, "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could!" That's me. I'm a 'dang Yankee from back-east' who settled in the Lone Star State after some extended stays in the eastern U.S., and New Mexico. I worked as an archaeologist for a few years before dusting off my second major in English, and embarking on a 25-year career in journalism. Since then, I've embraced the dark side of the force, and now work in PR for a community college in Midland, Texas.

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