TagStill

Still: ‘Winter Moon’ by Xu Xi

The photograph: close-up view of a piano keyboard.

The story: the protagonist, born in Hong Kong and now resident in New Zealand (the latest stop in a peripatetic life) reflects on her relationships (long-distance and otherwise) and the place of America in her life. Running elegantly through it all is the theme of music, especially the character’s love for the songs of Hoagy Carmichael. A fine note on which to end the anthology.

Link: Xu Xi’s website

This is one of a series of posts on the anthology StillClick here to read the rest.

Still: ‘How to Make a Zombie’ by Deborah Klaassen

The photograph: in a workshop, a clock face dangles from a single wire, with further electrics bunched together in front.

The story: Tatty is disillusioned with university until she meets philosophy lecturer Daniel Perkins – at last, it seems, she’s found someone who is actually interested in intellectual conversation. When she wonders how he manages to get everything done, Perkins offers to teach Tatty his secret method of slowing down time – and this absorbing read takes a shocking turn.

Link: Deborah Klaassen’s blog

This is one of a series of posts on the anthology StillClick here to read the rest.

Still: ‘Still’ by S.L. Grey

The photograph: a row of pale green doors, with a board advertising a raffle half-visible behind one that’s open.

The story: a two-page piece by S.L. Grey (the collaborative pseudonym of Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg), set at a funfair. Fragmented dialogue contributes to a sense of unease, as we uncover the horror of the narrator’s predicament. Definitely a story that carries greater force than its length might suggest.

Links: S.L. Grey’s website / interview with Grey on their story

This is one of a series of posts on the anthology StillClick here to read the rest.

Still: ‘The Owl at the Gate’ by Nicholas Hogg

The photograph: the decoration of an owl on top of a wrought-iron gate.

The story: with his mother dead and father away at war, the protagonist lives with his bullying cousin Maria. Escaping the house one day, he runs into a local man who’s as happy as Maria to take advantage of the boy’s timidity – but help is at hand from an unexpected source. I like the ambiguity in the ending of this piece, and especially how it illuminates the narrator’s character.

Link: Nicholas Hogg’s website

This is one of a series of posts on the anthology StillClick here to read the rest.

Still: ‘In the Dressing Room Mirror’ by Claire Massey

The photograph: a shabby, utilitarian dressing room, with a row of plain square mirrors and the overhead lamps that would have illuminated them.

The story: a woman describes the envy she had as a child for another girl who was a much more natural dancer than she – and the repercussions that still affect her to this day. Its supernatural twist gives this tale a very effective chill.

Links: Claire Massey’s website / interview with Massey on her story

This is one of a series of posts on the anthology StillClick here to read the rest.

Still: ‘Ten a Day’ by Jan Woolf

The photograph: a clock (showing five past ten) on a bare stone wall, off-centre as we view the image. Part of a blue board can be seen below the clock.

The story: a woman thinks about how much better life would be – how much more time there’d be – if the 24-hour clock were replaced with the decimal time used in the French Republic. What gives this story its edge is a clear sense that this is a false hope, and that the protagonist can’t move on in life because she won’t let go of the idea.

Links: Jan Woolf’s website / interview with Woolf about her story

This is one of a series of posts on the anthology StillClick here to read the rest.

Still: ‘Waiting’ by Justin Hill

The photograph: a view of a derelict work-room or store-room, with peeling walls and debris piled on surfaces.

The story: a well-constructed mosaic of events from Justin Hill’s life, with recurring themes of memory and going through doors – and the melancholy undercurrent of knowing that, once you’ve gone through a door in life, you can’t go back.

Links: Justin Hill’s website / interview with Hill on his story

This is one of a series of posts on the anthology StillClick here to read the rest.

Still: ‘Morayo’ by Sarah Ladipo Manyika

The photograph: rows of empty bookshelves.

The story: Morayo, an old woman about to move into a nursing home, thinks about her beloved books, which are shortly to join her – but Tom, the social worker set to bring them over can see only a messy pile that needs to be disposed of as efficiently as possible. This piece is both a portrait of the emotional value that books can have to someone; but it’s also a poignant tale of loss – with Tom”s failure to recognise or consider which books matter most to Morayo acting as an indication that the person she has been is becoming lost.

Links: Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s website / interview with Ladipo Manyika about her story

This is one of a series of posts on the anthology StillClick here to read the rest.

Still: ‘Sere’ by David Rose

The photograph: the corner of a room, with a flyer for an old amateur operatic performance lying among the dust and flakes of wallpaper.

The story: the word ‘sere’ means ‘dry’ or ‘withered’, and the old narrator of this piece is feeling that way in relation to the modern world. Rose captures a certain stiff formality in the voice of his protagonist; and the range of details focused on creates an effective sense of diffuseness.

Links: David Rose’s website / interview with Rose on his story

This is one of a series of posts on the anthology StillClick here to read the rest.

Still: ‘A Job Worth Doing’ by S.J. Butler

The photograph: an old telephone, with its handset off the cradle, sitting on a large wooden meeting-room table.

The story: a cleaner goes to do one last shift at the defunct and empty town hall. This story recalls (coincidentally) the first entry in Still, ‘Midnight Hollow’, which takes a very similar premise. Butler’s story is as evocative as Piggott’s, but the tone is warmer, less melancholic. If ‘Midnight Hollow’ is a story of loss, ‘A Job Worth Doing’ is more a celebration of what has passed.

Links: S.J. Butler’s website / interview with Butler about her story

This is one of a series of posts on the anthology StillClick here to read the rest.

© 2019 David's Book World

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: