Blindfolded courier pigeons, insatiable appetites, overwhelming pride, toes painted blue, spooned soursop, the AsiaPac community station in geosynch orbit around the moon, love without a heart, tragedy and absurdity; stars of course, in many forms; and always, riddles. For those who like their stories rich, their wit dry and their history served with a twist, this gorgeous collection from a cynical romantic deserves a global readership. Alfar writes of many times and in many styles including the classic fairy tale, but in two ways he is a 21st century English-language-plus writer. His use of words and surprising vocabulary is so wonderfully, playfully true to meaning that he can only be an English-as-a-second-language writer (among which are the best users of English in the world today). And he writes of place with a calm assurance of its importance, not as some ethnic other than the default normal western setting, but as important in itself. I have to add that I particularly love his historical concoctions, especially the footnotes.
To make a long (and wholeheartedly enthusiastic) blurb one sentence longer: Dean Francis Alfar's Kite of Stars and Other Stories is bold and penetrating, warming and luscious as a durian but legal as airplane carry-on.