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Reality, Reality

by Jackie Kay

I loved this short story collection. The reader is offered a gentle yet unsentimental lament on many of the common themes of human nature. Stories range from the sadness of elderly abuse to an ironic look at serial dieting. What they have in common are fresh individual voices sharing with us their choices, relationships and loneliness.

Extract

I've bought myself some presents and wrapped them. In the morning, I will get up and put on the television .... Then I'll try and call my middle sister and wish her Merry Christmas and keep my voice very cheerful. Then I might call my step-father and wish him Merry Christmas. Then I'll slice my aubergine and salt it and leave that for a bit. It's amazing watching the bitter juices come out of the aubergine. I'd like to do that with myself, just pour some salt over.
On Christmas morning, I wake early. I open my pressies and disappoint myself. I should have splashed out a bit more.

Parallels

Talking Heads by Alan Bennett
The World & Other Places by Jeanette Winterson
 

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