While you’re waiting…

If you read, and even enjoyed, Vault, and are waiting for Posthumous Stories to appear – it may be a long wait – here is what you should be reading right now:

Somewhere Else, Or Even Here, by A.J. Ashworth (Salt Publishing).

This is not the calculatedly “powerful writing” beloved by reviewers; this is the real thing. The strength comes from the ideas, the precision of the treatment, the care of the author, and the depth of her insight into her characters’ lives. Those lives are various, yet each one is fully inhabited by Ashworth; she writes from within, yet with the perspective of the mature writer. She is a stylish writer, and style is not add-on luxury.  Style is the test and guarantee of a writer’s sincerity. This is stylish, an effortless command of concision and metaphor, stripped down to do the task with no wasted flourish.

This is the first book of an emerging talent. She will become important. But you need to discover that for yourself. Buy the collection; read it. Disagree later, if you must. But after you’ve read it.


So what are you waiting for?

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