D.W. Wilson’s first story collection was published recently by Bloomsbury and what a great read it is for all short story lovers! After reading so many novels one after another it was fascinating to see just how playful and intricate short story collections can be. When I was a child and studying Piano, my teacher would always give me something called Variations to play. Any musician knows what they are – variations of one theme, executed in different styles, sometimes barely recognisable from one another but always exploring the same idea. As I read Wilson’s collection, I had a similar experience of playing with the same idea, looking at it from a different perspective.
Short story collections appeal to our ability to fill in the missing pieces through our imagination. They don’t always explain everything, and that looseness is what I love most about them. Some said that Once You Break A Knuckle is a male collection, along the lines of ‘Man hunt, man bring food, man fight’. Maybe it is, but it is so refreshing to see those very macho men be sometimes so gentle, so unsure of themselves, so human.
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