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  • By Richard L Smith
    Aug 17, 2019
    I first encountered Sue Hampton’s fiction through her terrific work on DOCTOR WHO spinoffs LETHBRIDGE-STEWART and THE LUCY WILSON MYSTERIES, but it was her first pair of short-story anthologies that hooked me on her astonishing, uplifting, stellar original fiction. Sue writes with true grace and a unique specificity of language and imagery, invariably achieving a linguistic proficiency that leaves me not just engrossed in her stories but soaring with delight at her wordplay, dumbfounded with bliss at the rhythm and poetry of it. She’s a wordsmith of the first order. I’ve just finished reading Hampton’s new anthology, INSTEAD, in which she foregoes even the lightest touches of magical realism and fantasy to deliver a series of grounded, wholly engrossing, adult tales as rich as any full-length novel. She embodies and ensouls a quiet, thoughtful teen boy or a bitterly pragmatic young courtesan as effortlessly as she does a rape survivor or a seventysomething grandmother and social... More > activist. "Dear Mother" and “A Different Kind of Faith” are body-blows, poignant and vividly realized, and the latter may be one of the most exquisitely painful yet lovely short stories I’ve ever read. "The Activist" is a jaw-dropping study of the physical and emotional impact of championing a cause at very nearly any cost. And "The Pomegranate Flower," my favorite of this new set, left me utterly floored, feeling the way I did the first time I read Michael Chabon, Toni Morrison, Don DeLillo, Wally Lamb. INSTEAD, like her anthologies RAVELLED and WOKEN before it, feels like a whole new literary landscape, the emergence of a strong voice so clear, so recognizable and yet so fresh and original, I want to beg Sue for more – and perhaps also to tackle the kind of epic novel limned so effortlessly in every one of these stories, each profound in its universal human dramas and small everyday miracles and moments of exquisite grace. Sue Hampton is a simply immense talent, an unforgettable voice. Listen to her. Oh, pick up one of her short-fiction collections (or all of them) and just LISTEN. You’ll be glad you did.< Less
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Product Details

TSL Publications
July 8, 2019
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.61 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
5.83 wide x 8.26 tall
Product ID
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