Sunday, 22 June 2014

My Baby Shot Me Down: an anthology by women writers

Ten new women writers showcase an exceptional collection of poetry and prose in My Baby Shot Me Down. 
An incendiary blend of cerebral and visceral, this anthology presents a broadened view of the personal, political and social spectra. 
The unsettling beauty of the language is rendered sharp and transgressive, shot through with high-calibre comedy. 
Expect full-bodied and full-blooded. 
Grey areas of the gender-jungle and identity are explored alongside matters of love, family, relationships and sex, making for stark writing that is vital, refreshing and life-affirming.

Published on 28 April 2014 by Blinding Books.

My Baby Shot Me Down is a collection of poetry and prose by ten unknown women authors. Not unknown amongst their own circle of writing websites and competitions, but unknown to the majority of readers.

I came across this book as I know one of the authors; Alison Wassell.  I don't know her ever so well, we met online via a book forum and have met in the flesh on a couple of occasions. Even though we've met and talked, and are Facebook friends, I don't really know who Alison is as a person. She's quiet and appears quite shy, she's not a loud gob-shite like me, she prefers to fade into the background. Having read Alison's stories in My Baby Shot Me Down, I now feel as though I know her a little better. Her writing is innovative and sharp and I have to dispute her own description of it. No, Alison, this is not 'light and fluffy', it really isn't.

Amongst the short stories in this collection, there is some poetry. I'm really not qualified to comment on whether the poetry is good, or bad. I hold up my hands now - I don't really 'get' poetry. I never have done. Sorry, but that's me being honest. All I can say however, is that the stories in this book are bloody good, so I'm sure poetry lovers will be pleased by what they find here too.

I really like these stories, I like all of them. It's obvious that these authors concentrate on short stories, their expertise and passion shines through in each and every one of them. I must admit that I usually choose short stories by authors that I am familiar with, those whose novels I enjoy, and I'm very often let down by them.

Some of these stories are pretty sad, dark and dare I say it; just a little bit depressing. There are some really strong emotions displayed here, and at times I felt as though I was intruding into the author's most secret thoughts. I'm not sure that any of the women who wrote these stories are aware of just how good they are, I get the feeling that some of them have a lot of self-doubt, and they express this in their writing.

There are some spots of humour, but it's pretty black humour. This is a collection of stories that really do touch a nerve at times. Intelligent and charming, witty and poignant - a collection to savour.

For more information about the collection, and the authors visit
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