Tag Archives: Hanan al-Shaykh

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.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
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

My Eye Is A Button On Your Dress by Hanan al-Shaykh

Overview

Title: My Eye Is A Button On Your Dress
Author: Hanan al-Shaykh
In: I Am Heathcliff (Kate Mosse)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Twisted romance
Dates read: 1st April 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Borough Press
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

She’s received a letter from a man she hasn’t seen for years. One that she thought was lost to her forever. But, when she returns to her home for a happily ever after, she realises that not everything is as it seems…

Thoughts

I actually thought that this story was going to have a happy ending. Completely expected it, and actually looked forward to it. And then all of my hopes came crashing down at the end. It was actually kind of a sinister ending and one that left the story open to many, many possibilities. It was just… uncomfortable and really quite dark.

I haven’t really read any stories that feature Arabic culture and are written by people from this part of the world. It’s something that just hasn’t shown up on my radar, and I haven’t really gone searching for it either. So it was kind of nice and interesting to read a story set in this reality. Especially when it is in a collection based upon an English classic. A great way to show how universal themes can be carried across a variety of cultural realities.

Although this story deals with a culture and worldly view that I don’t understand at all, it was still completely relatable. This short story took the same themes that I am familiar with and bought them into a different world, sweeping me along with them.

 <- Kit ReviewThe Cord Review ->
Image source: Harper Collins Publishers