UNREGULATED CHICKEN BUTTS by Ilyas Halil

UNREGULATED CHICKEN BUTTS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Thirty-five short-shorts--wry, though not particularly memorable, vignettes by a Turkish writer transplanted to Canada--that whimsically explore the sense of dislocation and otherworldliness in ÉmigrÉ experience. A sampling: the title sketch is about chickens who lay too many eggs, resulting in an imbroglio between the US and Canada. ""Anyone Want a Million Dollars?"" is about a lottery winner confused by his luck: ""Your head isn't compatible with your money."" Halil's commentary is never mordant, but it can be slightly amusing in a bite-sized way. A number concern urban observations: ""Strikes"" is about a time when nobody goes anywhere ""because of insecurity due to the police being on strike""; ""Montreal. . .Montreal. . ."" sketches out the dives of St. Lawrence Street, where Turkish artists and other bohemians or nationals live quite apart from the dominant English vs. Canuck orientation. Other pieces convey the loss of family values: ""Discontent"" is about a man who gets past being old-fashioned by divorcing his wife, whereupon his children congratulate him; while ""Living Cheap"" bemoans the way that TV rains the texture of an immigrant family. Lightweight fare of possible interest to short-short fans and to connoisseurs of Canada's ÉmigrÉ fiction.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1990
Publisher: Univ. of Utah Press