The themes of love and loss burn like wildfire in this collection. Our intercultural authors bring you stories and poems rife with powerful imagery. These are not romantic notions of love or loss, but the gut-wrenching stuff of everyday life that we are all too familiar with.
Perhaps the most heartbreaking of these is ‘To My Unborn Child’ by Yuvarajan, the epitome of loss. The rest of his collection depicts death in the form of a lamentation in ‘Farewells’, and hate – the antithesis of love – in ‘I Am Not’. But a love lost is the crux of the stories ‘Lost Stars’ by Mischra and ‘Skin Deep’ by Kim. And while they both use the power of memory to reveal the sense of loss, they do so in very different ways. Mischra’s is an aesthetic testament to the power of the short story, while Kim’s pushes the boundary of creativity possible within the traditional short story. And if all this sense of loss is not enough, Malik’s ‘Letter from Suicide’ is just what the title claims, and ‘The Horror! The Horror!’ is Rhimi’s post-modernist twist on Heart of Darkness and its depiction on the loss of hope.
Lost love is just as important. In ‘Scars’, Pichetto captures its lingering effects, while Mellon’s ‘Alone’ depicts the loneliness of finding love and loosing it, with a deeply emotional character. And in the ‘Octopus Café’, Hirsch gives us an unforgettable narrative of lost love where the man is sought after by the woman, in a refreshing twist to the heartwarming narrative.
But like any encompassing literary collection, we also have the more traditional themes of identity, cultural conflict and ideology. Bouman’s poems ‘Ruby Small’ and ‘An Africa in Everyone’ question the poet persona’s origins and the sense of the ‘other’. While in ‘A Visit to a Friend’s’, Shich captures cultural exchange between a working class Chinese family when invited to the home of an upper middle class American family, experienced through the eyes of a child. And no collection is set without a worthy cause – at least in theory – as the coming of age daughter of the protagonist in Fenech’s ‘This Sweet Land’ pursues her cause, at a costly confrontation.
We hope you enjoy this collection.
Cecile, Samir, Sofia & Vanessa