Water: New Short Story Fiction from Africa

This collection of short stories from project “Short Story Day” comes from last year’s competition and are tied together by the theme of water. I enjoyed some of the stories, but found others difficult to connect with. I’m sure that this is a common theme with short story books, but for this one in particular, I didn’t find myself pulled back to the book as much as I have other short story fiction.

A couple of my favorite stories were the ones that touched on the folklore of Africa: Chido Muchemwa’s Finding Mermaids, during which malicious, dangerous mermaids were thought to be stealing young women by pulling them underwater to teach them witchcraft. Another favorite was Pede Hollist’s The Tale of the Three Water Carriers. But my favorite of the whole book was Cat Hellisen’s The Worme Bridge, which was beautifully written though strange and disturbing. Throughout the whole book, I found the varying perspectives interesting, especially those of new immigrants to our country, which is such a relevant topic today.

What are you reading?

P.s. – Happy Valentine’s Day!

6 thoughts on “Reading…”
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  1. The past couple of weeks I’ve read two books. One of them was Pioneer Women; The Lives of Women on the Frontier. What I loved about it was that it was the story of the women, and not their husbands. We often read so much about the men of the frontier or the families of the frontier but this was a different perspective. It touched on both the families and men as well but they were secondary. I have a whole new appreciation for what these women endured. They were so strong… emotionally, physically, mentally! Very appropriate for our life and times as well as encouraging for those of us who are trying to live “less waste” and having to do a lot more “grunt work” for the cause.

    The other book was The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. My friend who suggested it told me it was a quick, enjoyable read and it was. I liked the story itself. It hit on a lot of emotions (as life does). I also could never really anticipate what was coming next, which is always fun. One of my resolutions was to read AT LEAST one book a month this year because my reading has fallen so far by the wayside since children have entered my life. So far so good! I’m even working on a second for February, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. (recommended by the same friend who recommended AJ Fikry. She’s a librarian so she went with a library theme :))

    1. Thanks for the recommendations, Emily! I love hearing about what everyone else is reading. I’m adding these to my list – Pioneer Women sounds incredible!

  2. I’ll preface this with: I read “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson (nonfiction), and I recommend this book on the Great Migration to everyone I talk to. The interesting thing is that I then heard a discussion with a librarian on recommended books from the shelves (not necessarily new releases), and she mentioned several books (fiction) that have characters / families one generation beyond the migration of their parents / grandparents to the north or west, so I thought I’d explore that a little further.

    So currently: I’m 3/4 of the way through “The Turner House” (Angela Flournoy) and it’s the story of a couple who migrated from the south to Detroit and raised thirteen children there. Those children are now in their forties – sixties, and so it’s a lot of stories within the story. I’m really enjoying it. I love the characters, and the discussions around aging parents and the family home and the rise and fall of cities / segregation, white flight, mortgage crisis, job changes, etc. feel relevant, but at the heart of it is a good story. I’m pushing myself to read outside of my normal channels, and my library hold list is full of books (fiction and nonfiction) centered around various regions of this country.

    My daughter (8th grade) is reading and studying the Holocaust. She’s in a book discussion group on various titles, so I’m also trying to read along with her. They’ve spent some time really dissecting current events and also this administration’s statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day (omitting the specific mention of Jews), and so I’m encouraged by this deeper examination of words in the media, in politics, etc. and we’re digging deeper into that as well.

  3. Love reading others’ comments, thanks for this inspiring post! I am reading Vernon God Little by DCB Pierre. I did not read this when it won the Man Booker in early 2000s, for some reason it fell off my radar. It is terrific— hilarious but disturbing.

    I recently read the first two books in the Broken Earth trilogy by N.K Jemison (Fifth Season and Obelisk Gate). These were super good for any sci-fi/ fantasy fans!

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