Do the sophisticated children of this age know the exciting anticipation of approaching a lucky dip? A lucky dip is what the very title of this collection of stories suggests, for it proclaims itself the Faber Book of Best New Irish Short Stories. Best and new? New, certainly. Best – a very good chance of this, since the lucky dip’s contents have been ordered by David Marcus, no new hand at editing anthologies, himself a novelist of distinction whose best, Land Not Theirs (1986), resonates in the mind.
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Perception is a weird thing. Lawrence Durrell saw Hydra as a ‘great horned toad’ but Henry Miller thought it resembled a ‘huge loaf of petrified bread’. Niko Ghika painted it as a series of neat white and orange squares.
The minimalist Fumio Sasaki 'confesses that as he began to purchase fewer consumer goods, his meals shrank in size. He decluttered and lost weight. Accumulation is not just an economic way of life but a form of embodiment too. Enlightenment is reduction.'
'The river’s desecration mirrors Colombia’s long history of violence: "for years we treated it like a sewer," says Ahmed, a survivor of a particularly brutal paramilitary massacre, "just like we treated each other".'
Patrick Wilcken on the Magdalena.