Sunday, 29 May 2011

Hot Kitchen Snow and Blue Has No South...

I have been a busy reviewer. Two of my recent reviews are in this The Short Review this month..

Blue Has No South, by Alex Epstein


and Hot Kitchen Snow by Susannah Rickards.


They are both very different short story collections. Possibly couldn't be any different. Blue Has No South is a collection of 115 short fictions, that I would variously describe as fables, puzzles, poems, true stories, warnings, dreams, histories, myths, found stories. They are brief, intense, distilled, and this is probably a book I will dip into many times again. Hot Kitchen Snow is more traditional, in the sense that it contains the kind of short stories we might expect when we say short stories. It was a bit of a slow burner for me, but left me thinking wow...

I love short fiction, I love the way stories are so diverse that there is something for almost everyone. I love the way they can be enjoyed in the small pockets of time in my life, snatched between breakfast and work, or at lunchtime, or on the bus or in a waiting room. I love that a small world is contained in only a few brief pages, and we can be taken out of our own world for a brief time, feel something might have changed, or learn something, feel something completely outside of ourselves. And with a good short story it can shake our roots, make us question, unsettle, amaze or make us laugh out loud. And we can carry a whole book load of these moments around with us, get the book out when we want an escape, find odd collections of these experiences inside one cover, but with themes and connections, or an overall journey, or patterns, that if we want to find them are hidden within the different stories.

I mean, I love novels, and I love poetry. But, short stories... are my first love, I think.

1 comment:

Megan said...

They are indeed lovely things. Have just discovered AS Byatt's Little Black Book, fabulous-nuts (-: