Lydia Conklin’s timely debut, Rainbow Rainbow: Stories, should be celebrated as both a work of activism and a literary triumph ... The standouts...tend to feature youth on the cusp of personal discovery ... All stories...are buoyed by Conklin’s remarkable gift for dialogue, clarity of description and ability to integrate humor into uncomfortable situations ... Conklin’s approach to identity is...nuanced. And reading about these poignant inner lives is absorbing and thought-provoking.
Conklin offers a first collection presenting queer, gender-nonconforming, and trans characters in a series of briskly told narratives ... Throughout, Conklin is gracefully multi-note as they reveal the complexities of queer relationships, always allowing their characters to be themselves.
Superior ... Conklin refreshingly illuminates the anxieties and longings of the early pandemic ... Conklin brings nuance and compassion to the subject matter and displays a captivating interest in human contradiction. Conklin’s command of structure ensures that each story has a satisfying arc, but most impressive is the author’s precise and evocative prose. Striking images dot the collection like jewels ... This talented writer is brimming with skills and heart.
Conklin is adept at communicating complexity and writes in a plainspoken style that does not invite sensationalizing. In each story, a rainbow appears. We might read this as a motif underscoring the full range of human sexualities and genders—and, if it’s not too corny, we might see it as a symbol of hope ... Conklin introduces themself as a writer to watch with these open-eyed, tenderhearted, well-crafted stories.