This passionate new book gathers together for the first time many of Vanessa Gebbie's award-winning stories. Described by Maggie Gee as `a prodigiously gifted new writer', this is a natural storyteller; her narratives unfold with a deceptively light touch, exploring with compassion what it is to be human and flawed. `Words From a Glass Bubble' is about coming to terms with the cards we are dealt. The stories pivot around the recognition that those who seem powerless can prove to be the strongest catalysts for change, both in themselves and in others. Vanessa Gebbie never shies away from difficult subjects, creating an intensely emotional and at times distressing world, but it is never totally dark or despairing. Sparks of the unexpected and flashes of humour light the whole collection with an indefatigable optimism.
This is a writer with a boundless imagination, who breathes life into the most unlikely characters and events. Batty Annie fishes for her son's soul in a disused railway tunnel. Tom's grandmother flies on a circus trapeze. Spike relates to cacti better than people. Eva Duffy befriends a statuette of the Virgin Mary. Pepito pretends he is a priest and suffers the consequences. Shelly has a colonic irrigation to rid herself of the past. Billy hears stones when he shakes his head. Dodie from The General Stores falls for a man who teaches her `to think', and Mikey mourns his wife through graffiti.
From Ireland to Czechoslovakia to Wales to Alaska to Ibiza, from contemporary New York to a clinic in the future, this collection will take you on a journey. And Harry? He just goes fishing.
Vanessa Gebbie is a novelist and award-winning short story writer. Author of two collections: Words from a Glass Bubble and Storm Warning (Salt), her novel The Coward's Tale (Bloomsbury UK/US) was selected as a UK Financial Times Book of the Year and Guardian readers' book of the year. Her stories have been commissioned by literary journals, the British Council, for BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4, and are widely anthologised. www.vanessagebbie.com