#AusReadingMonth2022 Tony Birch
by Tony Birch
Genre: short stories
Review: Dark as Last Night (ISBN: 9780702263170)
Good news: Reading does not stop when you lay down the book.
…it leaves a weight upon our waking thoughts. I think that is the best
compliment I can give Tony Birch for this stunning collection of short stories!
Good news: These 16 stories are compact, have a single effect conveyed in only one or a few significant episodes or scenes. I finally have a short story collection with actual “short stories”! Sometimes I find authors like Isaac Bashevis Singer…who write a novella instead of a short story!
Personal: I’ve thought for a long time…but this must be one of the best short story collections I’ve read in a very long time. Yes William Trevor and John Updike have produced wonderful stories…but they also have many stories in their collections that just fizzle out.
Not Tony Birch! These stories had all great themes…family crisis/struggle (abusive father, estranged father) – discovery (bonds of brotherly love ) – transformation (librarian who the believes in her student) and of course humor (child who was not chosen to be in Nativity play at school).
This book won 2022 Queensland Literary Award for best short story collection….and Tony Birch deserves this prize…and then some!