“Review: ‘In the Middle of Many Mountains’ by Nahal Suzanne Jamir.” Rev. by Heid E. Erdrich. Minneapolis Star Tribune, 8 August 2013.
Suicides and mental illness are a large part of these stories, but in how they influence survivors rather than in attempting a portrait of unfathomable mental states. Perhaps this is Jamir’s prime accomplishment, creating stories in which we equate terrible loss with a kind of creative liberation…..” ~Heid E. Erdrich
“When it comes to every new phase of life, every new problem encountered, we react with splintered cultural and generational instincts, with sympathy and outrage, both wanting and disdaining the old stories that tell us how to proceed. In a voice lavish and yet improbably concise, Nahal Suzanne Jamir has written a profoundly beautiful book about the persistence of collective memory—how we lonely humans trapped in a single life seek the wisdom handed down to us and chafe against it, too.”
~Debra Monroe, author of On the Outskirts of Normal and My Unsentimental Education
“Nahal Suzanne Jamir is a startling writer. Her work defies simple categorization, and I find myself a little breathless sometimes, story to story, page to page, line to line. This is a wonderful, boldly experimental debut by a unique new voice. Here is a brilliant mind at work. Make way!” ~Julianna Baggott, author of the Pure trilogy
“Nahal Suzanne Jamir is a gatherer of story. In this collection, we are given the chance to join her, to gather and examine story from every angle, from every corner…..But Jamir doesn’t sit in an armchair simply discussing the elements of story–she gives us an abundance of the real thing–magical examples of stories that do help us remember, that do make us less lonely, that do remind us of our own truths. Jamir writes with a lightness that effortlessly weaves in and out of myth, reality, and even time-travel, and is grounded with the occasional still assurances, the things she knows to be true. ‘Now this, this makes sense to me . . . ‘ she writes. She is a caring and wise storyteller, giving her listener places to land, to pause, to rest. And then pushing us on, for ‘the most difficult stories to tell must be told again and again, to defeat the mirrors.’ This collection does just that.” ~Brianna Van Dyke, editor of Ruminate Magazine
“On the third page of Nahal Suzanne Jamir’s ‘She Made My Eyes,’ Jamir asks if I want the truth. Her truth is to predict that ‘this story will bring you to tears.’ Just as she makes this bold prediction, she offers me an escape. ‘Inside your teardrops,’ Jamir says, ‘there will be little stars that you can wish on, and they will take you to other stories that aren’t so precious and sad.’ I chose Jamir’s precious, sad story of her mother — specifically of her mother’s poor eye health and of what comes with the ability to see and not to — because the prose so deftly moves me from the unknown to the known, the prophesied and the predicted but unfulfilled….Just as I believe I know where Jamir is leading me next, possible prophecies piling up like choose-your-own-adventure pathways, reality takes a different turn…..Jamir makes my eyes, and unmakes them, giving me sight in many forms but not letting any way of seeing truly satisfy me. I have to keep searching beyond the essay for that, and will. This is what great prose does — takes your eyes and gives them back new, ready to see some more.” ~Samantha Bares, MQR Staff
“In ‘Killing Trees,’ Nahal Suzanne Jamir illuminates for us the realities of having a peripatetic upbringing. She takes us through Oklahoma, Texas, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Florida, and the poetic descriptions her writer’s eye has chosen to give us dramatize what it means to be a person who is a survivor.” ~Robert Clark Young, CNF Editor, Connotation Press