Short stories with big messages


The New Writing Anthology is a collection of well-crafted short stories by some of the best female storytellers around the world. The stories resonate with the cultural moorings of the places in which they take place.

A new anthology of short stories brings together women writers from India, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. Punch magazine’s anthology of new writing, edited and presented by its founder and editor Shireen Quadri, features 18 stories from emerging and established writers. It was published by Niyogi Books. Founded in January 2017, The Punch Magazine publishes monthly short stories – as well as poetry, creative non-fiction, interviews and reviews – by writers around the world. The anthology was designed to celebrate the genre of short fiction. While the origin of the form is as old as human civilization, the genre flourished in the 19th century, with several modernist writers showing its subtle power through their historical stories.

The stories in this anthology resonate with the cultural moorings of the places in which they take place and are often linked to the lived experiences of the writer. They pulsate to the rhythm of the daily lives of their protagonists – their inner struggles, existential anxieties and anxieties.

There are stories that revolve around memories of early crushes, teenage romance, and others that linger on the passage of time with all its ravages. Stories rooted in family traditions are also part of this anthology.

The authors of these stories are Ameta Bal, Anila SK, Anjali Doney, Camilla Chester, Geetha Nair G., Helen Harris, Humra Quraishi, Jayshree Misra Tripathi, Latha Anantharaman, Meena Menon, Meher Pestonji, Rinita Banerjee, Rochelle Potkar, Sarah Robertson , Shilpa Raina, Tammy Armstrong, Vineetha Mokkil and Vrinda Baliga.

Short fiction condenses human experience while being able to capture its depth. These stories show us how they compress the composites of life and expand its complexities and contradictions.

Ameta Bal’s “Static AD” has a first-person narrator who tells the story of isolation and loneliness. The story was written long before the pandemic, but it looks suspiciously like the lockdown situation. Anila SK’s “A Tale of Disconnect” is about a dysfunctional marriage and gods who never answer. Anjali Doney’s ‘Pandemonium’ is about a dissatisfied college romance full of emotions and mush. In Camilla Chester’s “Terms and Conditions,” protagonist Laura Pimpleback discovers that her childhood dreams and wishes are coming true.

“Sunday, Bloody Sunday” by Vineetha Mokkil, the narrator, Tara Bakshi, finds all hell breaking loose as she reveals to her family her plans to marry a fellow civil servant outside her community. Vrinda Baliga in her story ‘Crossing’, looks at the issue of illegal immigrants who risk their lives for a prosperous future.

Geetha Nair’s “Falls” is a story of love and betrayal. The story goes back from the present to the past, revealing the sequence of events.

Helen Harris, a prolific London-based author, writes a story about food and family ties. His story, “Olya’s Kitchen”, is set in the 90s. The narrator, Nicholas, remembers his Russian grandmother and her penchant for cooking and feeding her grandchildren. He chose a career in the food business cooking authentic Russian dishes to honor his beloved grandmother after she passed away.

Three stories take place in Kashmir. Humra Qureshi’s “Kashmir Valley’s Soofiya Bano” is inspired by the fury of the 2014 floods, in which water brings the son back from custody to his mother. Freelance journalist Meena Menon’s story “The Closed Cinema” concerns the Firdaus Cinema, located on the busy Lal Chowk Road in Srinagar, which has been closed for several years. ‘The Vacation’ by Shilpa Raina, is about a Kashmiri Pandit couple and their struggles after being forced from their home in Srinagar during militancy. The woman leads her family through depravity and loss as they live in a state of permanent exile. Rochelle Potkar’s story “Honor” is about a young Purna laundress who works at Mumbai’s dhobi ghat. Her family responsibilities are what she lives for.

Latha Anantharaman’s Delicately Structured Very Narrow House, set in Palakkad (Kerala), is about the reclusive family of an under-priest at the temple. The story is beautifully woven and has a hint of suspense and drama.

Jayshree Misra Triparthi’s ‘Indigo Blue’ uses the device of ‘a story within a story’ to explore the parallels between past and present.

In Meher Pestonji’s dark but funny tale “Ghost”, young Kaizad who enjoys playing ghosts and scaring his little sister, unwittingly creates trouble for the family. Tammy Armstrong’s “Artichoke,” set in Rome, highlights a flawed approach to a scholar’s quest to understand the painter as opposed to his fellow traveler.

In Rinita Banerjee’s “The Dance of the Happy Muse”, a young man seeks temporary solace in art when family responsibilities seem overwhelming.

Sarah Robertson’s lyrical “Marietta’s Song” is about the magic notes of a magic song – “enough to take the dead into a world of passionate flight, with martinis before dinner every night” – played on the piano by a man miraculous.

The Punch Magazine has published several short stories in digital format since its inception to bring a tangible collection where many works by high caliber writers have been featured. The stories take us along the wear and tear of life, dwelling on the characters’ experiences and memories of their many pleasures and pains suspended in the continuum of time. The anthology’s editor, Shireen Quadri, is the founder and director of Punch Art and Cultural Foundation, which strives to chronicle the proliferation of arts, literature and culture in India and around the world. world. She writes: “The short stories of contemporary women writers show us how they compress the composites of life and expand its complexities and contradictions.

The Punch Magazine promotes the best of literary and cultural traditions from around the world. For this anthology, they looked at good storytelling, the quality of its storytelling, its language, and its stories that reflected the human condition in general and had a deep resonance with the times in which we live.

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