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Deborah Biancotti

Twelfth Planet Press (2009)

ISBN: 978 0 9804841 5 1

Reviewed by Tansy Rayner Roberts, May 2010

I promised myself I would get to this one eventually. I had read most of the individual stories before the release of this, Deborah Biancotti’s first short story collection, and I read all of the new stories last year, as I read most original short stories, in electronic form and in a rush, in order to sift out the best ones for Last Short Story blogging.

But that’s the whole point of a short story collection. It doesn’t matter if you’ve read the stories before. They are being presented anew, forming part of something else, and you haven’t actually read it as a collection unless you have sat down and read it, in order, turning all the pages.

I promised myself that one day I would lounge on a couch, with a box of chocolates or a tall jug of iced tea, and spend a whole afternoon taking in this particular book properly, instead of just waving my hands and telling other people to read it. Of course, my life doesn’t work that way. I consumed it in three parts – one part lying on the bed in my library, glaring at the various members of my family attempting to visit me in there and loudly announcing THIS IS MUMMY’S QUIET TIME, one part perched on my couch while the baby ran ever so slightly amok at my feet, and one part in an armchair today, while eyeing the workmen busily digging holes and swapping power poles outside my window.

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