Out There edited by Zoë Strachan

9781908754684How did I get the book? Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Freight Books brings a new and definitive anthology of prose writing and poetry from Scotland’s leading and emerging LGBT writers. It includes a stellar list of contributors; Ali Smith, Louise Welsh, Kerry Hudson, Jackie Kay, Ronald Frame, Toni Davidson, Val McDermid, Damian Barr and UK poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy to name but a few.

Following Glasgow’s ‘Gay Games’ and the now famous Glasgow Kiss, this is the first anthology of its kind in over twelve years. Out There is the perfect barometer of just how far Scottish LGBT writing has come in that time. The writing is diverse, sometimes hilarious, sometimes polemical, often surprising and deeply moving, but always suffused with energy, wit and empathy.

200words (or less) review: This is definitely one of the more unique books I’ve read this year. I’m not a big short-story reader but when I was offered Out There I couldn’t resist.

As with most collections there will always be some stories that you enjoy more than others but Out There has such a variety and so many to choose from you will find yours. Probably more than just the one, I did.

These ones that stuck with me were;

  • I live Here Now by Nicola White
  • The Face at the Window, the Wave of the Hand by Louise Welsh
  • A Guid Cause by John Maley
  • Outing by Allan Radcliffe (think this might be my favourite)
  • Dog-Bait by Kirsty Logan
  • Generations by Roy Gill
  • The Quilt by David Downing
  • The Fine Art of Finding a Safe Place To Pee by Jo Clifford

Alongside the short stories there are also poems. I’ve never been a poetry fan so while I did read a few of them none stuck with me the way the stories did. Given the quality of the other contributions I’m sure they’re good I’m just not the person to comment.

Recommend it?

Yes

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