Celebrating Australian Women Writers in the Short Story Form.
As we hurtle towards the holiday season, I’m sure I don’t need to encourage readers of this blog to purchase books as gifts, but I would like to nudge you in the direction of short fiction. Even people who aren’t regular readers can usually find something to interest them in a collection of shorts and, as they feel they are investing less time in one particular piece, are more inclined to give it a go. So there you have it … a shameless plug from we writers of short stories!
Kali Napier says she has embraced the short story form through reading Maxine Beneba Clarke’s ‘Foreign Soil’ (reviewed on goodreads). Kali certainly picked a good author to lure her over to the sublime experience of a short story collection.
HC Gildfind’s ‘The Worry Book’ sounds more than a little intriguing under Sue’s perceptive eye over at Whispering Gums. This review gives us an idea of the cohesiveness of the themes and recurring motifs. I am an unabashed fan of everything Margaret River Press and it sounds like they’ve done a great job in presenting this collection. Do check out WG’s opening notes about the ‘striking, inspired cover’ and the various ways we might interpret it.
Anne Jenner has been busy with short story reviews again this month. Thanks Anne! Like me, Anne is a fan of Jennifer Mills.‘The Rest is Weight’ is an extraordinary award-winning collection which showcases Mills’ outstanding abilities. As Anne so eloquently puts it, the collection is:
a fine example of how a short story is limited to nothing but the writer’s creative imagination, which in this case is virtuosic.
Anne also reviewed Karen Hitchcock’s ‘Little White Slips’ (enjoying the ‘writing style which is direct, intense and confronting at times’) as well as ‘Like a House on Fire’ by Cate Kennedy. She found ‘many riches to be discovered’ between the pages of ‘Like a House on Fire’ but – and I have heard this said before of other extremely accomplished writers like Kennedy – there is something almost ‘too competent, too smooth’ in the ‘polished technique’. Maybe sometimes, we can be in hands that are just too safe?
Are you aware of Book Bingo 2018? What fun. Hopefully, Theresa Smith Writes and Mrs B’s Book Reviews will continue with it in 2019. Anyway, as part of Book Bingo, Mrs. B reviews ‘Only the Animals’ by Ceridwen Dovey, a collection in which animals are given true voice through first person narratives and Mrs B tells us ‘their song is creative, poignant, poetic and sad.’
While you are visiting Mrs B, if you are a romance fan, check out her review of ‘Destination Romance’ by various authors. Travel and romance and ‘a diverse set of voices’.
Another anthology featuring a variety of authors is ‘Total Quack up’ reviewed by Ashleigh at The Book Muse who tells us the book ‘offers bite-sized pieces of Australian talent for new readers to discover.’
Sue at Whispering Gums reviews a couple of Katharine Susannah Prichard shorts under her classic series, finding ‘The Bridge’ to be a ‘tight little story . . . with a sting in the tail’ and ‘The Christmas Tree’ enjoyable for its realism and its ‘tight, focused writing’.
Still in a classic vein (kind of, in a de facto sort of way), Bill at The Australian Legend reviews Anne Gambling’s short story ‘The Drover’s De Facto’, which is included in Frank Moorhouse’s collection of stories and essays inspired by Henry Lawson’s ‘The Drover’s Wife’. I get a kick out of Bill’s reviews, especially when he inserts little snippets of his own life into the mix. Always entertaining.
That’s it from me for the year. Happy holiday season everyone. Even it is not a time of celebration for you, I hope you have a day or two to sit back in the sunshine (or, for northern hemisphere readers, curl up in front of the fire) and read a few short stories.
I write fiction, non-fiction and poetry. ‘Flame Tip’ (Hybrid Publishers) is my fire themed collection of shorts. I’m currently working on a water themed contemporary historical novel and I sometimes blog at www.karenleethompson.wordpress.com