The Price of Tea in China Review

The Price of Tea in China
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The Price of Tea in China ReviewE. Shaskan Bumas, The Price of Tea in China (University of Massachusetts, 1995)
Bumas seems to have fallen off the face of the planet since publishing his first, and to date only (that I can find, anyway), short story collection in 1995. This is quite depressing, as the nine stories in The Price of Tea in China are the work of a skilled writer. They do sometimes show the problems one would expect from a neophyte-- the pace lags at times, they get verbose at others-- but for the most part, this is an excellent collection, well worth looking into if you're a fan of the realist short story. The best of the stories, perhaps (though by a long nose at most) is "Your Cordially Requested Presence," about a straight man who accompanies a lesbian friend to a wedding so she can fend off questions about her sexuality; as the two of them get more inebriated, the fa├žade gets harder and harder to pull off, until finally there's a confrontation with the bride and groom. Excellently done. I'd list the other good stories in here, but I'd just be repeating the table of contents; this book deserves a much wider audience than it's had to date. ****The Price of Tea in China Overview

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