"Mentos" is a superbly crafted work of flash fiction. Employing masterful focus and a light touch, Thompson packs this very short story with insight into addiction, life in a global culture, and family relationships.
Holly Thompson is the author of two young adult novels in verse: Orchards, winner of the APALA Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and The Language Inside, both published by Delacorte/Random House. She is also author of the novel Ash and the picture book The Wakame Gatherers. Her stories and essays have been published in magazines in Japan and the United States. She co-writes the column “Double Take” in ANA Wingspan magazine.
Raised in New England but a longtime resident of Japan, Thompson recently edited Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories, a collection of thirty-six Japan-related young adult stories, including ten in translation, to benefit teens in the earthquake and tsunami affected areas of Tohoku, Japan. She serves as regional advisor for the Japan chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and teaches creative writing and literature at Yokohama City University.
"Mentos" was published in Shenandoah, Spring 2013 (v. 62. no. 2).
To read "Mentos" click here
TCR Story of the Month highlights an outstanding work of fiction published online within the preceding twelve months.
TCR chats with author Holly Thompson
|Award-winning verse novel
by Holly Thompson
A: I’ve been writing since I was twelve and had a poem performed on the PBS show Zoom. In my teen years I wrote poetry and short stories and for many years I focused mostly on prose fiction, but in recent years have been writing verse novels (Orchards and The Language Inside), as well as prose fiction and nonfiction, and writing more poetry. I write for all age groups—children, young adults and adults.
Q: Where did you get the idea for “Mentos?"
A: I started with a rather autobiographical moment of being offered a Mentos, then moved into the realm of addiction combined with the complex emotions experienced by an overseas parent of a child leaving home. Place features large in this flash story, with settings in Taiwan, Japan and New York, and these locations both ground and unground the narrator.
Q: Who are some of your favorite classic authors?
A: Well, to name a few: Italo Calvino, Anton Chekhov, Yasunari Kawabata, William Carlos Williams, Akiko Yosano.
|YA fiction anthology
edited by Holly Thompson
A: I read all sorts of fiction, plenty of children’s and young adult lit, and poetry. A few favorites from all these categories are Michael Ondaatje, Alice Munro, Lucille Clifton, Nadine Gordimer, Orhan Pamuk, Lynne Rae Perkins, Helen Frost, Gary Soto, Billy Collins, Li-Young Lee, David Almond, Barbara Kingsolver, Louise Erdrich, Allen Say, Jacqueline Woodson, Yoko Ogawa.
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