LIT: Stories from Home
This is an exhilarating new short story collection from New Zealand writers, selected by Elizabeth Kirkby-McLeod. The editor has paid mindful attention to the gathering of voices here: emerging young storytellers stand tall alongside long-established national icons. The writers’ diverse cultural origins and interests both connect us and challenge us: who are we now on this unevenly shared land – and planet?
The collection opens with Gina Cole’s breath-stopping “Baby Doll”, which, through painfully exquisite detail, reveals the day-and-nightmare of a child sweatshop factory where Barbie costumes break the girls who make them. In Rajorshi Chakraborti’s “Out of Zone”, Bangladesh comes to Thorndon with surreality and poignancy. One of Witi Ihimaera’s first published short stories from the 1970s is here, as well as enduring classics from Mansfield, Grace, Sargeson and Marshall. “Gutting” by Ting. J. Yiu, dissolves taboos around death and dying with a mass whale stranding in parallel with the trauma of human violence and survival. It is a complex, arresting and visceral finale to this collection.
LIT: Stories from Home is an English and Social Science teacher’s dream. It’s a kaleidoscope of lived and fictional realities from indigenous and immigrant New Zealanders. The stories are arranged to progress with readers across year groups and comes with teachernotes which are always a welcome bonus.
Title: LIT: Stories from Home
Authors: Gina Cole, Lani Wendt Young, RajorshiChakraborti, Witi Ihimaera, Anahera Gildea, Elsie Locke, Owen Marshall, David Hill, Katherine Mansfield, Patricia Grace, Frank Sargeson, J. P. Pomare, Tracey Slaughter, Russell Boey, Nithya Narayanan, Ting J. Yiu. Selected by Elizabeth Kirkby-McLeod.
Publisher: OneTree House
Publication: June 2021
Ages: Senior Intermediate & High School
Advisory warning: none
Reviewer: Nicola Easthope, Assistant HoD Senior English and TIC Psychology, Kāpiti College, Wellington
How are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
Opening sentence: I wish I have costume like Barbie.
You can buy this book here