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The Yet Unknowing World : Fiona J. Mackintosh

The Yet Unknowing World : Fiona J. Mackintosh


I’ve been a fan of Fiona McIntosh’s writing for years so I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to pick up ‘The Yet Unknowing World.’ There is a real depth to this flash fiction collection. McIntosh’s historical flash fiction sings, with topics ranging from a re-imagined Ophelia in the titular story, the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire (and goodness, the title Triangle has a loaded meaning), a pregnant Lady Janet Anstruther, bathing naked and hoping for a girl, and the gorgeously sensual Siren which was a deserved Bath Flash Fiction winner a few years ago.
McIntosh is equally adept at more modern flash. ‘Hindsight’ and ‘Sole Survivor’ deal with loss and grief suffered by characters who flee their home in search of a better life. The poignant ‘Hindsight’ is full of beautiful imagery (“they cartwheel through his dreams” and “fabrics unfurl around them” for example) while’ Sole Survivor’ is a brutal gut punch from the opening sentence (‘The baby died after we’d walked about 50 miles…” Grief and aging are tenderly explored in flash like ‘This is how you mourn your father’ and ‘On Warren Ward’.
If there’s a common theme running through this collection then it seems to me that it’s longing – longing for a child, for peace, for safety, for love, for absolution. I could go on! An excellent collection by a masterful writer. Brava.

Date Added: 04/09/2021 by Damhnait M.
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