Tag Archives: Anna James

How Things Disappear by Anna James

Overview

Title: How Things Disappear
Author: Anna James
In: I Am Heathcliff (Kate Mosse)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary
Dates read: 27th April 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Borough Press
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: By the time the answer was written, the rib was back, and she assumed she had been mistaken that it ever went away.

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Synopsis

When did you realise that you were slowly disappearing? When did part of you return? How do you make your heart beat in an empty chest again?

Thoughts

I’ve always believed that in almost every meaningful interaction we have with people, we give them a small part of ourselves. That, if they are able, they in turn give something back to us. But what happens when the people we surround ourselves with just take, take, take? What happens when parts of you begin to disappear as people refuse to return your gifts?

This story is incredibly disjointed, it hints at everything, but tells you nothing. And I think that this visceral reality that you just can’t quite grasp works perfectly. That maybe it’s the idea of giving and taking in turn that is really what indicates love. That maybe, just maybe, we are all slowly disappearing until we find someone to help us put ourselves back together again.

 <- Amulet and Feathers ReviewThe Wildflowers Review ->
Image source: Harper Collins Publishers

I Am Heathcliff curated by Kate Mosse

Overview

Title: I Am Heathcliff
Author: Kate Mosse, Louise Doughty, Grace McCleen, Nikesh Shukla, Erin Kelly, Joanna Cannon, Laurie Penny, Lisa McInerney, Juno Dawson, Hanan al-Shaykh, Alison Case, Louisa Young, Leila Aboulela, Anna James, Dorothy Koomson, Michael Stewart & Sophie Hannah
In: I Am Heathcliff (Kate Mosse)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
Bookshelves: Contemporary, Short story collections, Twisted romance
Dates read: 18th February – 16th May 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Borough Press
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: Any sound Ellis made was nurtured, grown somehow by the floorboards and the leaded-glass windows, until even the sound of her own breathing seemed to be carried away down the landing, and passed around from room to room.

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Synopsis

16 modern fiction superstars shine a startling light on the romance and pain of the infamous literary pair Heathcliff and Cathy.
Short stories to stir the heart and awaken vital conversation about love.

Sixteen stories inspired by Wuthering Heights.

In Terminus a young woman hides in an empty Brighton hotel; in Thicker Than Blood a man sits in a hot tub stalking his newly-married love on social media; and in A Bird Half-Eaten an amateur boxer prepares for a match.

A woman recalls the Heathcliffs I Have Known and the physical danger she has borne at their hands; in Anima a child and a fox are unified in one startling moment of violence; and in One Letter Different two teenagers walk the moors and face up to their respective buried secrets.

Curated by Kate Mosse and commissioned for Emily Brontë’s bicentenary year in 2018, these fresh, modern stories pulse with the raw beauty and pain of love and are as timely as they are illuminating.

Thoughts

I did enjoy this collection, but not as much as I had hoped. Probably because I bought this before reading Wuthering Heights. Which I then hated. So although this collection went a long way towards helping me to understand just why people love the classic so much. I still didn’t really love the obsessive, twisted romance that really features throughout all of these. The darkness that is completely overwhelming and more than a little difficult to understand.

Taking an incredibly rich classic, one that has stood the tests of time and creating different storylines and modern perspectives on it is an impressive feat. Collecting all of these stories together in one great collection was thoroughly enjoyable. It definitely gave me a whole new perspective on the classic. And made me want to give it a go for a second time… maybe in a year or two when I’m a little more mellow, and less likely to hate on Heathcliff and Cathy so passionately…

 <- Only Joseph ReviewTerminus Review ->
Image source: Harper Collins Publishers