This morning I am delighted to feature a book from Scottish blogger and writer, Mary Smith.
Here is her own bio.
Mary Smith is an author, journalist and blogger based in Dumfries & Galloway in south west Scotland. Her work includes fiction, non-fiction, memoir and poetry.
Her memoir, Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni about her years in Afghanistan, allows the reader to meet some of the women with whom she worked and provides an authentic insight into the life and culture of the country. Afghanistan also provides the setting for her novel No More Mulberries. Her poems have been widely published in poetry magazines and anthologies and her full length poetry collection, Thousands Pass Here Every Day, is published by Indigo Dreams.
She has, working in collaboration with photographers Allan Devlin and Keith Kirk, four local history books published by Amberley Publishing.
Currently, she is contributing to an anthology about life under lockdown and turning her blog, My Dad’s a Goldfish, into a memoir about caring for her dad through his dementia.
Donkey Boy & Other Stories is her latest fiction publication and first short story collection.
Shot through with flashes of humour the stories here will entertain, amuse, and make you think. Mary Smith’s debut collection of short stories is a real treat, introducing the reader to a diverse range of characters in a wide range of locations. A donkey boy in Pakistan dreams of buying luxuries for his mother; a mouth artist in rural Scotland longs to leave the circus; a visually impaired man has a problem with his socks; and a woman tries to come to terms with a frightening gift – or curse.
This review gives you some idea of what to expect from this delightful short story collection.
Testimonial from Margaret Elphinstone, author of The Gathering Night
Whether we’re in urban Pakistan, an old-fashioned travelling circus in Scotland, or repressed suburban Britain, Mary Smith’s stories take the reader right to the heart of a situation. They focus on characters who are disinherited by mainstream cultures. Whether it’s the boy from Peshawar whose father can’t let him stay at school, the adopted child who is marginalised by an identity she can’t recognise, or a woman escaping from lethal oppression, these people have been forced to abandon a part of themselves. The take on this theme varies from first person narrative ironically revealing its own complacency, to an impersonal voice which takes us right to the heart of suffering. The final story is perhaps the most chilling: is the character suffering from all-too-acute perception of cruelty and brutality, or is she simply crazy? In these stories the reader’s position is always ambiguous: are we colluding with dispossession, or are we honestly able to listen?
Other reviews are available via these links.
Donkey Boy and Other Stories by Mary Smith
Mary is one of the most consistent and supportive bloggers in this community.
Please try to connect with her, and show her how much she means to all of us.
https://marysmithsplace.wordpress.com – where she blogs about Scotland, history, walks, Afghanistan – and anything that takes her fancy