Sunday, 2 January 2011

Short Story Sunday and a Novella

Last year I barely read any short stories, like poetry and plays short stories are something I love but they tend to get abandoned in the crush of big old novels.
I'm aiming to read more, and hopefully post each Sunday about one. There did use to be a Short Story Sunday feature but I can't find anything up to date so I'll just keep myself company.

'The Daughters of the Late Colonel' by Katherine Mansfield
The death of their dictatorial father leaves Josephine and Constatine lost and bewildered. Not from sadness, but from merely knowing what to do. Every adecision they need to make, every action they take is laboured with fear of the father. Would he approve? Will he hate them?
Motherless and unmarried the girls have been ruled by a tyrannical father and maid, friendless and unworldly the young women are orphaned in a world which they barely know.

I really enjoyed this short story, I wanted to shake the girls and give them some bravery and strength.

'Anthem' by Ayn RandLast night I managed to knock a novella off the tbr pile, and one perfect for the dystopia challenge.

Anthem is set in a world in which children are brought up in a centre rather than with their families, taught only the basics at school and then assigned a work placement for life. The main characters in this novella discover an unknown place, a place linked to the time before. They sneak to this place as often as possible, discovering not just the thrill of doing what is not allowed but also the thrill of knowledge and discovery. For the first time they are able to think for themselves - just so long as no one finds out.
Written in first person in a series of reflective journal entries we gradually see the constraints of the society, as well as the things that are gradually being learnt, things we take for granted.


C.B. James said...

There's a Short Story Monday over at The Book Mine Set. I've been participating in that one instead of doing Short Story Sunday. There's a fairly dedicated small group of readers participating.

I tend to read bunches of short stories for a weekend or so every two months, myself. I enjoy them as a break from longer reading.

katrina said...

Thanks for the heads up, I'll check it out

Anonymous said...

Nice start to the Dystopia challenge Katrina. I hope it was a good novella.