I prefer reading books with short stories, where each chapter starts with a new story. It is so much fun to read and the suspense of what’s going to happen next doesn’t keep killing you until you finish reading the whole novel.
Recently, I got a chance to review 3 books, by Heather Fowler which are collection of short stories: Suspended Heart (Aqueous Books, Dec. 2010), This Time, While We’re Awake (Aqueous Books, May 2013), and Elegantly Naked in My Sexy Mental Illness (Queen’s Ferry Press, May 2014). Fowler’s People with Holes was named a 2012 finalist for Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award in Short Fiction. This Time, While We’re Awake was recently selected by artist Kate Protage for representation in the Ex Libris 100 Artists 100 Books exhibition this February and March in conjunction with the 2014 AWP Conference.
What prompted me to read the books, apart from my liking to short stories, was the usual names. The names of book really caught my attention and my mind galloped to get a sense of what kind of stories the book will offer to the readers.
When the books arrived, and I opened the package, I was intrigued by the cover. Each book has a very unique cover picture which was a sort of art in itself. The covers are though-provoking and if you are a deep thinker like me, you mind will start racing to understand the hidden meaning behind the cover image.
After reading the books, I was left in awe! The writer had done a marvellous job with such absorbing and thought provoking stories. Fowler’s fabulist elements intertwine with reality to create allegorical narratives that expose deeper truths about men and women, about humanity’s common fixations.
This book literally gave me goose bumps. The book has marvellous collection of magical realism stories that may appear humorous, but at a deeper level it will leave you shaken from inside. The characters are so close to life. You can identify yourself in them and explore your won failures, redemptions and longing for love! Each single story will compel you to think, and it is only when you do some thinking that you will be able to understand life better.
Elegantly Naked in My Sexy Mental Illness:
The collection of fiction in this book speaks the language of need. Desperate, obsessive, even demented need—both emotional and erotic—is voiced by characters ill or ill-advised. From cyber to stalker, illicit, explicit, tender and tedious, the relationships in Elegantly Naked In My Sexy Mental Illness translate love and lust into disorder.
Each story in this collection is seductive and enveloping. It will leave you crippled from inside, forcing you to analyze the truth behind sanity and sexuality! As described by Shaindel Beers, “The stories span time and space, sanity and insanity, our dreams and our nightmares. From Renaissance Italy to the French Revolution to the modern dangers of Facebook stalkers, Fowler’s characters explore all of the pleasures and pains of love.”
This Time, While We’re Awake:
Out of all the 3, this is my favourite book! The stories are unique and full of dark twists which you cannot anticipate. The characters are highly imaginative, yet somewhat close to realism.
To find more about the author and the books visit: http://www.heatherfowler.com
~I was sent a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion~