Publication Date: 08-Sep-08 | ISBN: 9781844714759 | Trim Size: 198 x 129 mm | Extent: 144pp | Format: Paperback
UK Distribution: | USA Distribution: | Publishing Status: Active
What links a café in Antarctica, a factory for producing electronic tracking tags and a casino where gamblers can wager their shoes? They're among the multiple venues where award-winning writer Tania Hershman sets her unique tales in this spellbinding debut collection.
Fleeing from tragedy, a bereaved mother opens a cafe on the road to the South Pole. A town which has always suffered extreme cold enjoys sudden warmth. A stranger starts plaiting a young woman's hair. A rabbi comes face to face with an angel in a car park. An elderly woman explains to her young carer what pregnancy used to mean before science took over. A middle-aged housewife overcomes a fear of technology to save her best friend. A desperate childless woman resorts to extreme measures to adopt. A young man's potential is instantly snuffed out by Nature's whims. A lonely widow bakes cakes in the shape of test tubes and DNA.
A number of these stories are inspired by articles from science magazines, taking fact as their starting points and wondering what might happen if . . .? In these surreal, lyrical stories, many of which are only a few pages long, Tania Hershman allows her imagination free reign, as her characters navigate through love, death, friendship, spirituality, mental illness and the havoc wreaked by the weather.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
The White Road; Heavy Bones; Self Raising; The Hand; Space Fright; I am A Camera; On a Roll; Mugs; Sunspots; Go Away; Brewing a storm; The Angel in the Car Park; Evie and the Arfids; Flora comes back; Rainstiffness; Heart; Knotted; Express; Firsts; Exchange Rates; Drizzling; Plaits; The Incredible Exploding Victor; You’ll Know; My Name is Henry; Fish-Filled Sea; North Cold
PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK
“Incredibly lush, intelligent, seductive, Hershman’s collection reveals a marvelously varied repertoire of narrative styles and subjects that are so compelling, so deliciously readable, it’s impossible to finish one story without quickly beginning another. There is a double-genius at work here, a writer who is capable of seamlessly marrying the religion of physics to the twin sciences of loss and desire. Hershman possesses the rare scientific eye and accomplished literary sensibility of Bradbury, the wry clarity of Atwood. This collection is telescopic and rich, it puts down roots, it doesn’t leave you. ” —
“What do a library, an Antarctic station and a dream casino where gamblers can wager their shoes have in common? They're among the multiple venues where Tania Hershman sets the extraordinary tales of The White Road. But though Ms. Hershman is willing to go anywhere in her imagination, her stories are anchored by a poignant awareness of sorrow beneath the surface. The White Road is a unique combination of narrative extravagance and human intimacy.
“Tania Hershman's very short stories manage to pack the punch of fiction many times longer. Her strategy is highly original,
consistently interesting, and astonishingly moving. Joining the
impersonal facts of scientific research with our human fragility,
complexity and tragedy, Hershman extracts poignancy out of the laws of nature.
“These stories are acute, meticulous, memorable. Tania Hershman is definitely a writer worth watching.” —
“…an author dripping with talent, this is as good as modern reading gets.” —
“This collection exemplifies everything that is best about the short story. With succinctness rarely seen in the work of someone new to fiction, Hershman extracts the very essence of a moment to reveal the poignant fragility of human relationships… each story is so different from the next that you will be tempted to read ‘just one more’, until you find you have read the whole book in one sitting. Hershman writes in a variety of style that are sometimes whimsical and playful, other times wry and edgy, so that you never tire of her narrative voice.” —Wet Ink
Tania Hershman was born in London in 1970 and in 1994 moved to Jerusalem, Israel, where she worked as a science journalist. She now lives in Bristol with her partner. Her award-winning short stories combine her two loves: fiction and science. Many of Tania Hershman’s stories, which have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in print and online, are inspired by articles from popular science magazines. In November 2007, she founded The Short Review, a unique online journal dedicated to reviewing short story collections. Concerned about the environmental impact of her book, Tania is partnering with Eco-Libris, who will plant a tree for every copy. For further information, visit Tania’s websites: www.taniahershman.com and www.thewhiteroadandotherstories.com.