Sunday, July 4, 2021

Six of the Best

There's a new 'Classic' edition of this popular NZ short story sampler edited by Bill Manhire and first published in 1989.
In this case you CAN tell a book from its cover: there are 6 stories each, from 6 major New Zealand authors.
The editor doesn't claim to have chosen the "best" stories for each writer (what headaches and arguments that would have led to!), rather he says he has "attempted to show individual range and development". All the stories are great, though.

The Janet Frame stories are:
Keel and Kool
The Reservoir 
The Bull Calf
You are Now Entering the Human Heart

Good to see 'Insulation' there. It is as relevant politically today as when first published. 'Solutions' is a personal favourite of mine and 'Human Heart' is one of Frame's most sought-after stories internationally for educational exam prep permissions and anthologies. It's a PERFECT subject for student essays.

Six by Six shouldn't just be thought of as a textbook though. As well as the guaranteed reading pleasure, looking through the titles of the stories, there's history as well as story on offer. This is where we have been. Where are we heading?

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