“The promise implicit in an anthology is that it aspires to present something different, unexpected” Joyce Carol Oates (Introduction to The Oxford Book of American Short Stories) From the classical form of ‘The Weight of a Feather’, first published by The Huffington Post (2013), to the suggestive allegory of ‘The Leopard and The Lizard’, this collection of short stories by South African author Judy Croome is an ideal mix of the familiar and the startling. These vibrant slices of life testify to the mysterious and luminous resources of the human spirit. Whether feeling the harrowing emotion in ‘The Last Sacrifice’ or the jauntiness of ‘Jannie Vermaak’s New Bicycle’, the reader will delight in a plethora of stories that cross boundaries to both challenge and entertain with their variety.
Judy Croome is a fantastic storyteller. She takes the reader on a journey through life and its various nuances. All of Croome’s stories have a message that the reader can take away, the sign of a brilliant short story. If a story makes an impact on you then, you are more likely to repeat it to your friends and thus spread its popularity. The anthology starts of with ‘The Weight of a Feather’, which deals with the sudden milestones of growing up. Learning curves which are not necessarily forgivable.
In a flowing but often brutal style the characters and their tangible emotions leap off their pages. ‘One can feel like a voyeur peeking vicariously into a person’s life, or be swept into a nightmare.’ as one Goodreads reviewer wisely states. Even stories like The Biter Bit and The Negotiation, short as they are, reverberate with your conscience a long time later.
The stories in this anthology are something you would read in a newspaper with your morning cup of tea, or the last thing you read on the train and often think about it at work. It is very easy to imagine what the characters might have done next after the story ends. Such is the beauty and poignancy of the authors writing and the versatility of the genre.
About the author:
Judy Croome lives and writes in Johannesburg, South Africa. Shortlisted in the African Writing Flash Fiction 2011 competition, Judy’s short stories and poems have appeared in various magazines and anthologies, such as the Huffington Post and the University of the Witwatersrand’s Itch Magazine. Her books “The Weight of a Feather & Other Stories” (2013), “a Lamp at Midday” (2012) and “Dancing in the Shadows of Love” (2011) are available. Judy loves her family, cats, exploring the meaning of life, chocolate, cats, rainy days, ancient churches with their ancient graveyards, cats, meditation and solitude. Oh, and cats. Judy loves cats (who already appear to have discovered the meaning of life.) She is currently researching child murders for her next novel and you can visit Judy on www.judycroome.com or join her on Twitter @judy_croome , Facebook and Goodreads.