Introducing Rio Liang: Our Newest Guest Blogger

Please welcome Rio Liang to our blog as our contributing “Story Spotlight” writer. On the 1st and 15th of every month, Rio will post a new “Story Spotlight” that focuses on a previously published Carve story. He’ll give you an overview of the story and the delights to look for while reading or re-reading it.

Rio Liang was born in Manila, Philippines, but has lived in Southern California for most of his life. He received his MFA from Saint Mary’s College of California. He is a frequent contributor of literary, film, music, and video game reviews on the arts and culture blog Ruelle Electrique. He blogs at

We took a little time to get to know Rio so that you can too. Rio has an intense passion for the short story - as evidenced by his plethora of reviews of literary magazines’ fiction. In fact, this is how we discovered Rio; he reviewed our Spring 2011 issue, giving it a thorough and in-depth read that left our jaws dropped (in a good way!).

Rio’s insight into stories is spectacular and incisive. We’re thrilled to have him on our team, helping to spread the word about good, honest fiction. Now let’s get to know more about him!

What are your interests artistically?

My interests run the gamut, though my primary love is storytelling. It’s through that lens that I view all other art forms I am passionate about. The foundational story - whether it be in dance, music, or film - has always been the main draw for me.

Who are your favorite authors?

Some of my favorite authors include John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Munro, Ian McEwan, Jhumpa Lahiri, Tom Perrotta, and Chris Adrian. I love the short story form and wish short stories got more of their due. I like to get my fill from literary journals and magazines like The New Yorker, Tin House, ZYZZYVA, Santa Monica Review, and of course, Carve Magazine, to name a few.

What do you love about fiction and the short story?

I love more than anything the discovery of new talent and of new experiences as translated through fiction, and the rare but enormously sating feeling of being enamored of the rare gem of a story. I love being moved, made a mess of, devastated, and replenished by fiction. That an arrangement of words on a page can incite so much stirring in one’s psyche has always been a wonder to me.

Anything else we should know about you?

Outside of the literary world, I am also a running addict and a bit of a political junkie. 

Rio’s first post is up now: his Story Spotlight review of Elizabeth Baines’ “Used to Be.”