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She-Clown and Other Stories

Hannah Vincent

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Myriad Editions

Published : 2020

Copyright : Hannah Vincent 2020

ISBN-10 : PB 1-912408-38-4
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-912408-38-2

Publisher's Write-Up

A collection of revelatory stories showing women trying to be themselves while clowning around for others.

These are stories told with a female gaze, showing women striving to be artists, employers, employees, daughters, mothers, sisters, friends, partners, wives and girlfriends. Characters are captured in recognisable moment of real life and in occasional flights of fancy. At the centre of each story is a woman engaged in an act of self-preservation.

In one story a young woman on the cusp of adulthood tries to express the horror and violence she perceives in the world around her, in another a teenage mother struggles to look after her child in the face of her obsession with the baby's father. One character experiences the freedom of the workplace while another perceives its constraints. One discovers how far her career has pushed her out to the margins of family life while another contemplates retirement. In the title story a woman catches a whiff of what respect and reciprocal attraction feels like.

Women in these stories are exhilarated to discover the joy and surprise of other women's company, they make bold sexual choices and go on night-time excursions. As grandmothers they give their grandchildren unsuitable presents. These women are at home and on holiday, at work and at play. They are young and they are old, fulfilled and frustrated, professional and amateur, educated and uneducated, knowing and unknowing. Their stories are witty, colourful tales of struggle and success, of yearning and learning.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Ben Macnair (010521) Rating (7/10)

Review by Ben Macnair
Book Source: Not Known
Rating 7/10

The characters in the sixteen short stories of She-Clown and Other Stories are all stuck in the middle of situations that are neither of their own making, or ideal.

In the title story, Charlie finds herself trying to impress bored children at their parties, where animal balloons do not hold the sense of fun or occasion that they used to. The Mothers are all talking, some of the father’s take more of an interest in Charlie, but none of them are interested in her as a person, just doing a gig, trying to get by.

The Poison Frog is about a close, but slightly toxic mother daughter relationship, and the frog that is found in daughter Charlotte’s throat. The frog becomes a pet, and a bone of contention between the pair.

The Mermaid and the Tick examines the differences that a husband and wife discover on a romantic holiday, whilst The Painting is about a work of art that misses out the most important ingredients.

Camel Toe looks at the radically different lives of two sisters, reconnecting on the netball court after becoming orphans. 3 o’clock is a sad story written by a woman living with dementia. The fractured nature of the telling, and the story it contains drip with confusion and pathos.

All of the stories contain ordinary places, offices, supermarkets, but they are places that signal change, and development in the lives of the characters contained within the stories. With something of Angela Carter, Raymond Carver and Sarah Hall, these are short stories that are bound to linger long after you have finished the book.
Ben Macnair (1st May 2021)

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