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  • David Mathews

Summer reading, tears and laughter


Hot off the press, two terrific anthologies, in each of which I am delighted to have a story.

Story Cities from Arachne Press (order here) is a playful brief for visiting a city; any city, maybe a place you know well or one you are on the train to for the first time. It contains no map, no guide to the sights, but instead prompts ways of looking around you, ways of seeing that involve your imagination, not just your eyes. Open Story Cities at random to find the city re-imagined through flash fictions that are by turns sharp, poignant, enigmatic and teasing. My story ‘Backwater’ fits in decently enough.

The stories are longer in Unsafe Places from Earlyworks Press; long enough for misfortune to occur time and again. In my story ‘The Contingencies of Cranes’ you can follow the erratic quest of troubled Delme Prothero, metallurgist, poet and vagrant, as he meets fellow bard R S Thomas and takes inspiration from an opera of Alun Hoddinot. (Order here.)

Two perfect books for introducing friends to short stories, which are, after the sonnet, the most demanding form in the English language, so said Ben Okri in my hearing.


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