New flash fictions (no more than 500 words) in multiple genres that address the city. A guide book to the fictional city, all cities, any city: its markets, squares, cafés, hotels, parks, stations and ports; the main streets, side streets, back alleys, dead ends and the crossroads. Never identified, the city has a voice of its own.
This brilliant collection of flash fiction sparkles with originality and many of its images stayed with me; the mechanical cigarette machine which sounds like a 12 gauge shot gun being loaded, the commuter obsessing about another commuter’s shoes, the sense of safety, belonging and ownership you can experience while on a train, the ghosts you only see when you are sad, the 123 lost gloves mourning their partners, and the couple kissing in a public square aware that they are making a memory not just for themselves but for everyone else who witnesses it, an act that becomes part of the square’s collective history, embedding itself in the bones of the city. This collection of precision-crafted meditations on public spaces makes us realise that everywhere we go in a city we are only ever a few feet away from a writer jotting it all down in a their moleskin, helping us rethink our feelings about shared environments, crowds, transport and architecture – the throwaway beauty of urban life.
A collection that exactly captures the restless mood of cities. In these stories, people connect and disconnect on journeys, in hotels, over coffee, in parks, markets and gardens. It feels as if we are walking alongside the characters, through teeming alleyways and side streets, along main roads and past monuments, experiencing the sounds, the sights and the smells.The stories describe familiar things in interesting ways or lead you, like a guide book, to something new. Like a city dweller or visitor, you will want to return again and again and each time there will be more to relish.
Includes work from writers in Australia, Eire, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, USA, and right across the UK.
Pedro Basso Neves