short fictions, tall truths
by Emma Neale
A collection of short stories needn’t necessarily be woven together with a theme and in fact The Pink Jumpsuit and the other 27 tales in this book range far and wide. There are threads of weirdness, mutation, tragedy and grit in the face of adversity, but tenderness, hope and humour are there too and on every page, regardless of the story, Neale’s prose sparkles.
“She wanted to fold herself up as small as a love note, ignite and burn away.”
“It hurts to imagine my husband as that broom-thin boy, hair gleaming black as a preacher’s shoes…”
“… it was seduction by punctuation. As if each semi-colon was someone leaning forward, head bubbling with the future…”
“He laughed, and her body cascaded with unbidden sweetness.”
Neale has, to international acclaim, mastered flash fiction, proving that by making every word count, a story can be barely a dozen lines but no less impactful than the longer pieces. This varying of story length, with longer ones interspersed with short and very short ones, adds to the pleasure of dipping into this book: there are delicious bite-sized reads alongside more absorbing ones.
With many of the stories exploring relationships, family dynamics, the past dragged up into the present… the endings can’t always be happy.
How does it feel to fall in love with someone who turns out to be half-sibling?
How creative can a jilted bride be with her discarded wedding dress?
Could two fingers really grow from the scar of an amputated one?
What can possibly go wrong at a 9-year-old’s birthday party?
Why would you carry your handbag in a cat cage? A leopard skin handbag!
Without giving too much away, the answers to these questions are just five of the 28 cleverly told stories in this collection. Each one is proof of Emma Neale’s well-deserved standing as an award-winning author. And each one makes The Pink Jumpsuit – short fictions, tall truths an enjoyable and enthralling read.
Author: Emma Neale
Publisher: Quentin Wilson Publishing
Available: paper: bookshops