Wallflowers

Wallflowers

eBook - 2014
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A small boy and his grandmother set sail for China in the mud of her back yard; a supermarket car park becomes a graveyard of strewn blueberries; migratory birds fly over a marshland ringing with the sound of wooden spoons on kitchen pots; and the breaking of a silence between two roommates leads to disquieting revelations.Eliza Robertson's delicate and startling stories tell of the adventure of the ordinary and the magic within the everyday. Here there are swindlers and innocents, unlikely heroes and gritty survivors; they teach us how to trap hummingbirds, relinquish dreams gracefully and feed raccoons without getting bitten.From windswept Pacific beaches to cafes in the heart of Lisbon, and from the depths of puddles on mountain running paths to the heights of extrasolar plant 51 Osiris C, these are tales of wildness and wonder, of animals in search of an escape and outsiders looking for a way back in.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], 2014
ISBN: 9781408856819
Branch Call Number: EBOOK

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ksoles Nov 05, 2014

Short fiction always take a back seat to the revered novel, an unfortunate fact but one that makes the search for a brilliant story so much more worthwhile. Certainly, such awe-inspiring tales grace bookstore shelves just waiting to be discovered and no collection proves this more than Eliza Robertson's debut, "Wallflowers."

While working on her MA, the Victoria writer earned a Man Booker Scholarship and the Curtis Brown Prize for best writer. She received the 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for "We Walked on Water" and "L’Etranger" was a runner-up for the 2013 CBC Short Story Prize. Not surprisingly, Robertson includes these stories in her bold and diverse collection, which reads with both a youthful tone and a polish expected of life-long writers. The author displays a keen command of language, pushing and challenging her readers while disquieting them in the most satisfying ways.

"Where Have You Fallen, Have You Fallen?" includes eight short scenes that unfold in reverse chronological order, effectively building narrative tension. "The Art of Making One’s Self Agreeable: A Handbook for Ladies" reads like an etiquette manual to tell a story of violence and subterfuge within a marriage. "Ship’s Log" uses its titular form as imagined by a little boy to gradually reveal a story of loss and heartbreak.

The stories might differ in form and approach but they unite in human emotion: despair, hope, loss and, above all, heartbreak. And, by having to read in unexpected ways, the audience allows the emotional impact of the stories to creep in. Ultimately, everything comes together with a powerful, devastating and rewarding effect.

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