Saturday, 9 January 2016
Cooked Up: food fiction from around the world
The formidably talented Elaine Chiew has turned her hand from writing short fiction to editing an anthology of food fiction from around the world. She was instrumental in the shaping of my short story collection, and I was delighted when she invited me to contribute to her latest venture. There are some stunning stories here. Among my favourites are Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's tale of a woman who emigrates from India to the States to be near her son's young family, and finds her delight in feeding them backfires as they reject traditional foods. The alienation is so subtly emotionally accurate. Nikesh Shukla's stunning account of a family's grief as the children cackhandedly try to cook following their mother's death is beautiful in its accuracy and simplicity. Patrick Holland is as strong as ever, with a perfectly pitched story of a retiring porn star, suddenly out of his element when he tries to woo one of the women he has been working with, after the film wraps, by inviting her to try his home cooking. Ben Okri's perhaps the best known name, and his flash fiction fable on entitlement and hunger is chilling and direct. It stays in the mind.
It's available from Amazon here. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cooked-Up-Fiction-Around-World/dp/1780262140 You're bound to discover a new voice you want to read more from among this wonderful assortment.
And here's a link to the gracious interview Damyanti Biswas conducted with me on her blog DamyantiWrites. Her blog, packed with author and industry interviews and her own considered musings on writing, is great way to while away a wet and windy evening. She has interviewed a number of the Cooked Up contributors and their responses are a fascinating look into how differently writers approach short fiction.