A collection of short fiction on love, longing and loss written in the realist and fantastic modes
A young boy and his sisters gather beautiful shells on the beach as mementos of a country they will leave behind. A girl who loves the Beatles sees dwarfs that are drawn charcoal-black on a white plate. A rich matron in Singapore discovers a primeval thing in her ritzy penthouse. A poor woman in the boondocks gives birth to a mudfish. Dead lovers buried beneath a hotel ruined by an earthquake reach out to each other. And a woman poisoned in Scotland centuries ago still haunts a hilltop castle, looking for her dead lover.
These and other memorable characters inhabit Danton Remoto’s book of stories and tales. Some of the stories are written in the realistic mode. They poke fun at a colourful but violent dictatorship or track the same-sex love in a young man’s heart. The others are written in the fantastic mode-fables, parables, origin tales, cheeky rewriting of rural lore and urban legends. The length of the stories also varies. Some are flash fiction, while the others have the sweep of a novella.
The stories are meant to entertain but also to instruct: why the present is just a re-looping of the past, why love remains constant and true even beyond death. Written with daring and with dash, this book comes from the pen of ‘one of Asia’s best writers’.
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