Whimsical, intense, pensive or amorous — we bring you a love story for every mood, each a little unorthodox, mysterious, or slightly peculiar.
Slightly Peculiar Love Stories paint a grand mandala of experience and circumstance: love appears and disappears; it aches and it dares; amuses and amazes; hurts, heals and begins again.
Love preoccupies writers from New Zealand, Israel, Hong Kong, Argentina and Athens, the UK and the US. Their 26 stories have been selected and edited by Penelope Todd.
Rosa Mira exceptional e-books first popped up on my radar a few months ago when I saw the name on twitter. Ever eager to discover new gems of publishing in New Zealand, I checked out the site and found that an anthology was coming out soon.
Of course, when I saw a tweet asking for reviewers, I jumped at the chance. I’m quite fond of anthologies, really enjoying the variety that you get. This one in particular interested me as the writers who have contributed are from all over the world – I felt like it was a good opportunity to experience ‘love’ from the perspective of other nationalities.
As the title suggests, these are not your typical love stories. The foreword puts is nicely: “Of course the story of love fulfilled is no story at all; it’s in the gap between longing and completion that the narrative appears.” And it is in those spaces that these stories come to life. Each one gives a glimpse, an insight, into the lives and loves of someone else.
The anthology starts off really well with some of my favourite stories: Beyond Pluto by Sue Wooten, a beautiful story of how life can get away on you, of potential love, lost but not forgotten, followed by the haunting tale What Exactly Did I Lose? by Lawrence Pun. This is translated from Chinese, but loses nothing in translation.
In fact, that was one of the striking things for me – that while the telling of these tales of loves differs quite dramatically depending on country of origin, the expressions, the pains, the difficulties and splendors of love are the same the world over. It felt like with each story another strand was woven to show the web that links humanity together.
The stories within these pages are short, some incredibly so (as short as a few sentences), and as such I think it’s an anthology best savoured over a few days. Each story stands on it’s own and will provide a unique experience. I really enjoyed taking my time with the collection and think there is something for everyone here. There were only a few stories that I didn’t really connect with, though I am sure they will appeal to other readers.
Definitely worth checking out. I know I’ll be browsing further titles from this publisher, and hunting out other works from the authors featured in this anthology.