Posted Oct 21, 2016
Size doesn’t matter when it comes to great writing. Here’s three short titles that pack a strong literary punch:
Life in contemporary Cuba is like a repetitious record – the world turns, but the days, weeks, months, and years all start to blend together into one long track. Spanning five decades, Guevara’s short but powerful novella captures the disappointments of the Castro regime from the perspective of a young, black protagonist. The unnamed protagonist’s parents whole-heartedly supported the revolution, but Guavara’s hero quickly realizes that Castro’s party slogans are not in tune with reality. Photographing dissent and cataloging discontentment, his nightmares become reality when he refuses to act as an informant.
A family is shattered after the matriarch – the wife and mother – of the household passed away suddenly in an accidental death. The father and two sons remain, engulfed in unbearable sadness until a crow makes his way to their London flat. The bird represents many things - antagonist, trickster, goad, protector, therapist, and babysitter – and watches over the family until they begin to recover and grow. Narrated by Crow, Dad, and The Boys, Grief is the Thing with Feathers mixes time and powerful emotions in a moving meditation on grief and compassion.
When Frances met Charlie, he was married with a young son, but the couple progressed, moving forward from Melbourne to Sydney so Frances could take up an art history scholarship. Frances’ knowledge of the world is primarily through art and books, but she begins to wonder about Charlie’s previous life while walking her dog, Rod, through the neighborhood. One day, she spots a woman in an old pink gown tending her garden, and time seems to stand still while eerie occurrences commence. Sunny and suburban, de Kretser’s short novella offers an ambiguous, atmospheric spin on the traditional ghost story.