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Monday, January 2, 2012

REVIEW - THE MEANS OF ESCAPE (COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES) BY PENELOPE FITZGERALD

I am still not getting the pictures right but that can't be helped right now. Reading about this author is amazing. She was in her sixties when her first novel got published, she wrote prodigiously, won the Booker prize and passed away just last year.

Her collection of short stories is my first foray into her writing and what is remarkable is that each story is so distinct, so separate (I know I know short stories are meant to be separate) but these go from the 17th century to a small boy who has lost a locket of value to him to that of a young very conventional lady who helped a convict to escape, then on to the puzzling story of the music director on the very remote island to the painters in Victorian times in Brittany. I was a little bit confused at the end as I could not quite understand what I was supposed to understand for some of the stories but from the blurb I also understand that the collection stands for missed opportunities.

Reading on I also got the impression that not just lost opportunities but what may have been if things had been different would also be an interpretation of this collection.

An intriguing writer - one I hope to go to back again before I leave Melbourne. Melbourne is on a heat wave roll. Yesterday 40, today 35, hopefully God willing it is going down now. I never could believe about automatic combustion of trees as it were, but with yesterday's temperatures and heat, anything was possible.

3 comments:

Tina said...

Short Stories are a genre I really like. I'm not too familiar with this author, but now that you have featured her, I'm going to be on the lookout.

Enjoy your warm weather. We are at 30F here in Maine and hoping for snow!

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

I have never read Penelope Fitzgerald who is one of many writers whose works I should have read by now. I aim to read a lot of short stories this year—they are fun.

Stepping Out of the Page said...

I need to read more short stories, I haven't found any that I have really loved, but I aim to do so! I might check out this author. I'm a new follower of yours :)