Name: Salt Modern Stories Number: 2
This collection of short fiction aims to define the sometimes indefinable and to give voice to those struggling to make sense of what life throws at them. There are those who travel in a continuous loop on London’s underground and those who dance at night with the departed. A woman confronts herself in a bedroom mirror after decades of denial and a widow finds comfort in an osteopath’s consulting room. And then there is a strange creature who falls to earth; dreams and portents; crows and folklore, and much more.
The stories are tragic and comi-tragic, but all reveal the strength and complexity of the human spirit. They bring poignant insights on grief, loss and longing and the depths and strangeness of the human psyche and how we manage to survive and just about cope.
‘Connective Tissue is a mature, polished collection that evolves from its predecessor in pleasing and sometimes surprising ways. It will delight Fraser’s admirers and win her new fans. As a plus, it comes in a cute pocket format that makes it extra desirable.’ —Nation.Cymru
‘Sinew, bone, and blood unite each narrative, like the widow whose ache for touch leads her to the massage table; in the corner of the consulting room is a yellowing human skeleton, raising questions about the body it inhabited, an echo of loneliness.’ —Ruth McKee, The Irish Times
‘Jane Fraser maps out the edge of north Gower in this supremely confident debut collection with its “farmhouses limewashed in the vernacular style,” its persistent grey rains and the dominant southwesterly winds which bonsai the hedgerow trees and equally shape the stubborn characters who work the land hereabouts.’ —Jon Gower, Nation Cymru
‘One of those books that arrives like a surprise, unexpected, a bolt from the blue, and knocks you back on your heels with the pleasure of reading it. A terrific debut short story collection.’ —Bookmunch
‘4/4 Fraser is a consummate short story writer. Each story conveys an aspect of life on the Gower; they are succinctly told, not a word wasted, and they are emotionally charged. They are simple tales beautifully told, sometimes utilising the lyrical Welsh language, they are layered and nuanced.’ —Paul Burke, NB Magazine
‘Fraser’s collection swells and falls with the tide, offering very human insights into many different aspects of untold – but very much lived – narratives. Every reader will find truth at least somewhere in these stories, though all share the same rocky piece of coastal Wales. The tales cycle through failing marriages, tragic loss, lifetimes of quiet suffering and pivotal moments for both the young and the old.’ —Kathryn Tann, Wales Arts Review
‘Fraser’s debut, The South Westerlies, a collection of 18 short stories set mostly in and around Gower, South Wales, is rife and woven with careful detail and design. I could ramble and try to find a multitude of words to describe it, but ultimately, the collection is a joy to read for all those who deeply love intricate prose. A writer who understands their setting so well – as Fraser does of Gower – each story is acute in its texture.’ —Emily Harrison, Storgy