Delighted to find a five star review on Amazon.co.uk. It doesn't even appear to be written by my Mum. I hadn't realised that anyone took the trouble to write such well considered and beautifully written reviews for this outlet - but there it is, thanks to Emily MacArthur.
It's also rather a thrill to find The Searching Glance rubbing names with books by Anne Enwright, Roddy Doyle and Jhumpa Lahiri on the longlist for this year's Frank O'Connor Award - the richest award in the world for short fiction.
I read at the beginning of this week at the Robert Burns Centre in Dumfries with Sara Maitland, followed by a discussion on the short story chaired by local writer of many genres, Tom Pow. Sara's powerful collection Far North and Other Dark Tales characteristically, for her, draws on myths, legends and fairy tales, forms that as she pointed out, bely the notion that the short story form was only invented in the mid 19th century, see review.
Many of the issues we discussed are covered in an article that appeared this week in the Canadian 'The Record' - how short stories have come to be regarded as the black sheep of literature; why they are regarded by some publishers as mere writing practice for would-be novelists; and that question we short fiction writers pick away at: are short stories not published because they are not read, or not read because they are not published?