I really enjoyed the breadth of the collection, and think it’s strength is in how complete, unique, and encompassing each of the stories were.
They were global perspectives that each spoke to this central theme of distance—the two stories that stood out the most on my reading were WAGER and MOSQUITO. I found that they each struck me very deeply and captured experiences that stayed with me. Their narrative style was one that had a fable like quality to it, and I felt carried an intrinsic message of wisdom for the reader. In WAGER I enjoyed the way class was written, and the emotional complexities and disjointment around moving away and returning to ones home and family. MOSQUITO carried another complexly layered family narrative, and while full of nuance it was the lesson to be gleaned from severing ties and not allowing the past to consume the future that will stay with me.
“A single mother resorts to extreme measures to protect her young son. A Nigerian student undertakes a United Nations internship in the hope of a better future. A recently divorced man starts a running group with members of an online forum for recovering addicts.
Ranging from New York to Istanbul, from Pakistan to Australia, these unforgettable stories chart the distances in their characters’ lives – whether they have grown apart from the ones they love, been displaced from their homeland, or are struggling to reconcile their dreams with reality.”
I personally think I lean to preferring Winch’s longer form fiction (her novel, THE YIELD, contains some of the most stunning prose I’ve read) but I loved seeing the flex of her creativity in these stories.
For more #AusLit short story recommendations, check out my curated list here