Wednesday 29 August 2018

24 Stories: of Hope for Survivors of the Grenfell Tower Fire @twenty4stories @unbounders #24Stories

In the early hours of 14 June 2017, a fire engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London, killing at least 72 people and injuring many more.  
An entire community was destroyed. For many people affected by this tragedy, the psychological scars may never heal. 
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that affects many people who have endured traumatic events, leaving them unable to move on from life-changing tragedies. In the immediate aftermath of the fire, the focus was rightly placed on providing food, shelter and health care for those left homeless – but it is important that we don’t lose sight of the psychological impact this fire will have had on its survivors. 
24 Stories is an anthology of short stories, written on themes of community and hope, by a mix of the UK’s best established writers and previously unpublished authors, whose pieces were chosen by Kathy Burke from over 250 entries. 
Contributors include: Irvine Welsh, A. L. Kennedy, Meera Syal, John Niven, Pauline Melville, Daisy Buchanan, Christopher Brookmyre, Zoe Venditozzi, Nina Stibbe, Mike Gayle, Murray Lachlan Young, Barney Farmer.

24 Stories: of Hope for Survivors of the Grenfell Tower Fire is edited by Kathy Burke and was published in paperback by Unbound on 14 June 2018.

As soon as I saw this book on Twitter I bought a copy. Not only will sales raise funds for the survivors of the dreadful tragedy that is the Grenfell Tower, it also contains stories from some of my favourite authors. The brief for authors was that the story had to be uplifting, positive and hopeful. There are 24 stories, one for each of the storeys of Grenfell.

The book begins with a foreward written by Dr Dean Burnett in which he explains, in simple but effective language, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I'd advise everyone to read this forward before going on to read the stories, it's informative and explains so much about PTSD, and as Dr Burnett has lived with the condition himself for many years, he's the perfect person to write this piece.

As with most short story anthologies, I enjoyed some of these more than others. The opener, from Nina Stibbe; 'The Language of Flowers' is a fabulous beginning from an author who I really admire. I also really enjoyed the contributions from Joanna Campbell, Christopher Brookmyre and Mike Gayle.
The beauty in this collection is the eclectic mix of authors and writing styles, and that the subjects are ordinary people; just like those affected by the fire. Some are funny, all are poignant.

This is a very well put together collection of stories, with themes of love and hope and searching for home

24 Stories is an anthology in aid of the PTSD-related needs of the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire on 14 June 2017.
It is a collection of works, written on themes of community and hope, by a mix of some of the UK's best established writers and previously unpublished authors.
It was compiled by Kathy Burke, Paul Jenkins, R Martin and Steve Thompson in response to the fire, and published on the first anniversary of that tragic event.

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