Writing this from Lithgow. It’s freezing. But the vibe is right for reading. This week’s fiction snippets are from all over. Firstly one from home, from the Griffith Review’s WOMEN AND POWER issue in it’s cheeky ‘online only’ section, by Suvia Mahonen titled The Fig Tree. It’s feisty and engaging, narrated by a 36 year old woman delving into her struggles of late pregnancy. Her carefully written dialogue keeps the story at a fast pace and even though you are left wanting at the end, its blurred moral intentions leave you, at the least, feeling something.
Another story with blurred moral intentions that definitely lingers is from Granta, a British literary journal that publishes both new and big-name authors like Don DeLillo’s The Starveling. Compelling and strange, DeLillo has us caught in a void of watching someone being watched while watching films. It’s subversive, piercing and definitely creepy and explores the functionality of obsessions creating new found safety within the patterns of daily life. It can be found in the HORROR issue (#117) and you do have to be subscribed to read it in full (it’s also the last story in DeLillo’s printed collection The Angel Esmeralda: Nine Stories) but there are other hidden gems nestled into Granta including all sorts of writing by Robert Bolaño, Zadie Smith, Arundhati Roy and Jeffrey Eugenides.
Finally, we fly over to the Atlantic to welcome the Tin House’s Flash Fridays project. It’s fiction in under 1000 words and there are several to choose from. Feats of Strength by Ravi Mangala is a curved Metaphor about the daily performances of being ‘strong’ and sentiments that in letting go, you are, perhaps, the strongest of them all.
Till next week, cuddle some warming tea and keep out of the cold with some happy reading!