George Saunders: telling stories of people – #BlogchatterA2Z

When a situation in life puts you at the crossroads and you have to choose one of them, you have to do it. No, I am not trying to preach any heavy philosophy. These choices are our day to day life. Yesterday I missed my post in A to Z, and technically, that’s failure in the challenge. But, when your goal while doing or participating something is clear, it doesn’t matter if you upload your post on next day. This is what the choice is all about.

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The author I am choosing for the alphabet G writes his all stories about such choices done by people and their lives. I want you to meet Mr. George Saunders from Texas USA. He’s the author of many short stories, novellas, novels, essays and children’s books.

The book I have chosen for this TBR post is Tenth of December. The book is a collection of 10 short stories about people, their relationships along with the class, sex, love, loss, work, despair, and war. The way he describes his characters, their feelings with apt metaphors, idioms and phrases is phenomenal. In an article for GQ in 2005, Saunders wrote: “What a powerful thing to know: That one’s own desires are mappable onto strangers; that what one finds in oneself will most certainly be found in The Other.” Sian Cain writes quoting this in her review for The Guardian, “it’s exactly this sensation that lends such heft to his writing: the countless, gentle sentences that pop out of his stories, sparking flashes of internal recognition – I do that! I’ve thought that before! – with such sweet clarity that you cannot help but feel completely, uncomfortably understood.”

 

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Photo Curtsy: Tim Knox

 

I am very much looking forward to reading this book and just because of title has December in it, I want to read it in chilly mornings of December, if possible at some place where it snows. Would you like to join me for Buddy Reading?


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Ernest Hemingway – The Iceberg Storyteller – #BlogchatterA2Z

Ernest HemingwayWe need to take a flight back to the USA to pay our respect to this fabulous storyteller. Many of his works are considered as classics of English literature. Nobel laureate Hemingway is a fabulous storyteller who has mastered the craft of telling a story in very simple language, most of his writing is in simple sentences. He has developed a style of describing one thing through entirely different thing which occurs below the surface. Hemingway himself calls this style as an Iceberg Theory (also called a theory of omission). Hemingway liked to tell the story through subtexts, he will not describe the action in a straightforward way, but he will write the things happening around the action so that reader will understand it anyway while reading the story.

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You will find a lot of this Iceberg writing in the storybook I am bringing to you as a part of my TBR. I want to read The Nick Adams Stories which is a collection volume of Hemingway’s 24 stories featuring Nick Adams. Though it is published in a single volume a decade after Hemingway’s death, the majority of the stories are previously published in various collections, there are 8 of them which are unpublished before this volume came out in 1972. The book is divided into 5 sections namely “Northern Woods”, “On His Own”, “War”, “Soldier Home” and “Company of Two”.

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I reckon these sections will be based on the time in which the stories are written as Nick Adams is partly autobiographical character developed by Hemingway based on the experiences he had when he was serving in Red Cross Ambulance Core in World War 1. The collection spans throughout his writing carrier as it includes some of his earliest stories like “Indian Camp” as well as his best one “Big Two-Hearted River”

It is difficult to get the print copy here in India at a lower price. One available on Amazon is for Rs. 821/-. I am still looking for it in various libraries in the city if I can get my hands on it. I am eager to dive into this classic as it will unfold the entire lifespan of the character as well as Mr. Iceberg Author. Hope you will like the book too.

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Dan Rhodes: Magician dealing with reality of love – #BlogchatterA2Z

Dan RhodesHola fellow bloggers and lovely readers out there, after our trip to Scotland, USA and Nigeria to meet our first three amazing wordsmiths, are you ready to visit Buxton of Derbyshire, England to meet fantastic storyteller. I would like you to meet fantastic Dan Rhodes; best known for his novel Timoleon Vieta Come Home published in 2003. He has mastered the art of putting an entire punch of the story in a compact form. Anthropology: and a hundred other stories is his debut book which is an anthology of 101 stories about girlfriends written exactly in 101 words each. With this book, he has proved himself to be a commander of words.

 

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Photo Curtsy The Guardian

 

 

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However, I would like to pick up “Don’t tell me the truth about love” as my TBR. This book is written by Rhodes while he was living on London Road, Shefilled during 1996 – 97. As the title suggests, all the 7 stories in the book are about love and as stated by Simon Beckett, in his review for The Guardian  ‘blow through the cobwebs of a much-handled subject like fresh air’. Stories are packed with a quirky fairytale, magic realism which adds a different flavor to the good old love stories. The book available here in India on Amazon got an amazing red cover with a blue broken heart at the center. Book name is written around the heart in the font just as complex as the love is. That’s it. Simple, yet showing all the complexity of the relationships.

Come grab your copy and enjoy these magically real love stories by Dan Rhodes.

Amazon

Paperback: 208 pages

Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd; Main edition (14 February 2005)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1841956139

ISBN-13: 978-1841956138

Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.3 x 19.8 cm


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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – A Happy African Feminist – #BlogchatterA2Z

 

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

If you are interested in a true sense of feminism, then you must be aware of this Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s day 3 of April A to Z and it’s time to take our journey to Nigeria. I was first introduced to Chimamanda through a video of a booktuber, Ariel Bissett where she talks about her book “Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions”. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie’s letter of response to the request she received from her dear childhood friend asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist.

Chimamanda is delivered her famous talk about “We should all be feminist” at TEDx where she shared her experience of being African Feminist and her views on gender expectations which brought her in front of a wide audience across the world. The talk is later published by Harper Collins as a standalone volume by the same name. But today I want to introduce you to one of her short story collections “The thing around your neck”. While reviewing this book, Daily Telegraph said, ‘She makes storytelling seem as easy as birdsong’.

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This collection has 12 stories covering the whole bunch of human emotions and aspects of life like religion, dreams, fears, etc. The stories are set in violence-torn Africa where fear for life is a constant and everyone aspires to ‘American Dream’. But the dream is not as merry as they expected for everyone. First published in 2009, Adichie has marked her sign on the literary world with her signature emotional wisdom.

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I am eagerly waiting to start reading this book as it is going to be my introduction to African society. Hope you will enjoy these stories too. You can grab your copy from following links.

Amazon

Flipkart

Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Fourth Estate (23 February 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0007306210
ISBN-13: 978-0007306213


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Ben Marcus – A Spicy mix of traditional narrative and experimental storytelling – #BlogchatterA2Z

textgram_1522639089It’s a day 2 and after our trip to the Scottish stories, it’s a time to hit the roads in Chicago to meet Mr. Ben Marcus. Ben was born on 11th October 1967 in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Ben has been writing short stories, essays in leading American periodicals. Ben has been fascinated by some wonderful storytellers like Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, Donald Barthelme, Richard Yates, Flannery O’Connor, Thomas Bernhard, Padgett Powell, J. M. Coetzee, Kōbō Abe, Gary Lutz, and George Saunders.

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Photograph curtsy by DPA Picture Alliance – Alamy

 

So, here in this blog, I present you his one of the latest book Leaving the sea: Stories which is published by Alfred A. Knopf in January 2014. This collection covers a span of 12-13 years of his writing and it’s said that we can observe a variety of the storytelling Ben has up in his sleeves from traditional narratives to the experimental storytelling. While describing his art of storytelling, Stuart Kelly writes in his review for The Guardian, “His subtle kinks of syntax, his daring choices of individual words and combinations of them, which seem a quarter tone out but somehow wholly right, the reiterated concerns – a pervading sense of guilt, the surrealism of sexuality, dangerous but necessary generational relationships – do not make for easy reading. That is not to say that he is a difficult writer; merely that he deals with strong emotional material in a unique and experimental style.”

But when Ben talks about the stories in this book at Chicago Humanities Festival of 2014, his words were – “I just hadn’t written a certain kind of story, maybe a more straightforward story. A story which had a chance to reach as deep as I could inside somebody’s body and bring out the stuff that really mattered about it. I wanted to do something which I hadn’t done. About just psychology of the characters.”

5181gvCLIaL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_I am intrigued by the book because of the span it covers in terms of the writing of the story. The way it deals with loneliness, isolation, death and frustration in dark, funny and unique way puts this book on my TBR list.

‘Never judge a book by its cover’ is a very old cliché, but the cover for this anthology is so pretty and vibrant, you can’t ignore it if you come across it on one of the shelves in a bookstore near you. Guys, what are you waiting for, head out and grab your copy or else you can find it at the following links.

Amazon

Flipkart

 

Hardcover: 288 pages

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0307379388

ISBN-13: 978-0307379382

 


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Ali Smith – The Scottish Nobel Laureate-In-Waiting – #BlogchatterA2Z

Before we start:

Soon after I posted my theme reveal for 2018 April A to Z, I got very supportive comments about the eagerness of you lovely folks of this magic world of the blogging community. You all are excited about reading the stories. Guys I would like to clarify here, I am bringing you amazing 26 authors from Ali Smith to Zakaria Tamer who has put out amazing short stories for us bibliophiles to enjoy. You can follow this thread to get to know them and the books I am looking forward to reading. So, without further ado, let’s meet our Kathaka #1 none other than amazing Ali Smith.


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On 28th June 2016, people from the UK cast their vote on a very important decision for the EU membership of the UK and Ali Smith rushed to her desk with a brilliant story plot to be told. She gifted us the first ‘Post Brexit Novel’ and the first of four seasonal ‘state of the nation’ works. Autumn was published in October 2016. But long before that, Ali Smith had a long affair with the act of storytelling be in a form of plays which were staged at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Cambridge Footlights or be it the short stories.

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Photograph Curtsy: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian
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First edition cover

The book I am putting in front of you is an anthology of twelve short stories “The Whole Story and Other Stories”. Anthology evolves around the varied nature of love in our life, let it be about nature, books or fellow humans. The book is first published by Hamish Hamilton in 2003 and by Penguin UK in 2004. “In a celebration of connections and missed connections, an inquiry into everything from flies and trees and books to sex, art, drunkenness and love, Smith rewrites the year’s cycle into a very modern calendar.” (from the blurb)

It’s said that Ali Smith has a knack to write stories which are humorous, quirky, inventive and sometimes sad too. I am very eager to get my hands on the copy of this book. Are you excited too? You can find the copy on the links given below.

Amazon

Flipkart

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Penguin UK (29 June 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0140296808
ISBN-13: 978-0140296808
Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm


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