For someone for whom the word “historical” has always had connotations of “stuffy” and “boring”, historical fiction has held little interest. Therefore I was expecting Shelley Puhak’s recent chapbook Stalin In Aruba (published by Black Lawrence Press) to be a dull read. In actuality the collection is impressively strong, and conveys a surprising variety of depth and feeling…
…Although to some degree fictionalised, these poems are rarely frivolous. Puhak has done her research. A glance through the notes section reveals several annotations that are almost poems in themselves….
…For its unique texture Stalin In Aruba is a consistently engrossing read. This first collection is a confident debut by a quietly talented writer.
Thanks to Christopher Frost, who wrote the review. You can read it in its entirety here.