Do join me for a discussion on short stories making a comeback, and HarperCollins’ ‘Strange’ playing a part in that revival, on 30th November 2019 at the very popular Times Lit Fest in New Delhi, India
Juanita MacMahon, award-winning audiobook voice of Sarah Waters, Val McDermid, and more, theatre personality and writer, on ‘Strange’ for the Nottingham Post:
“Strange is an exquisite raft of short stories, celebrating and bringing us an original twist to the tradition of bedtime /fireside story telling. The stories leap off the page; creating vivid, colourful encounters. A cluster of genres, a feast of cultural worlds, Shreya Sen-Handley invites us into the delightfully unexpected. After each story we are left strangely affected and more human than before.”
(How do you top a quote like that? You just get into your jimjams and slippers and retire for the night)
Flying high on the Amazon charts this week, Strange was reunited in mid-air with Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte, when Air Asia featured both in its in-flight magazine’s books of the month section. They had last rubbed shoulders in Firstpost’s Books of the Week a couple of months ago. William Dalrymple appears on this list of eight books too. Stratospheric company!
I have so enjoyed writing this collection; letting loose with my imagination, my arsenal of words and mischievously twisted ideas. Every story is a world unto itself in this book, tied together only by their unpredictability. I have revelled in writing stories from completely different genres, like horror, science fiction, fantasy, crime, the supernatural, romance and even comedy, and then packing it into the same slim volume. There’s plenty of humour in these stories, but there is also the exploration of themes that affect us all – grief, trauma, crime, betrayal, discrimination, mental health issues, and more. The settings are equally diverse, ranging from Corfu to Bristol to Delhi, and even places spawned in my mind. And like my short story heroes, I haven’t skimped on the chills and thrills. I have also imbued it with music, which thespian Jayant Kripalani pointed out when reading aloud from my book to a Calcutta audience.
“This is a wonderful collection of short stories, mysterious, beguiling, heart breaking and realistic… The beauty of these stories is that they ask questions of the reader. The reader can assume nothing, there is a twist to every tale, several twists in some cases. You really do have to read this collection.”
A Nottingham-based writer who was born in India is trying to revive the popularity of short stories with her latest book of 13 “twisted tales of the unexpected.” Shreya Sen-Handley, born in Calcutta, recently launched her second book, ‘Strange’, which looks at ordinary people “whose lives take unforeseen turns” as the characters end up in situations they did not see coming….The book is Shreya’s second, with her first book – ‘Memoirs of My Body’ – a tale of how the female body changes over the life of a woman. It was shortlisted as a ‘Best Read of 2017’ by UNESCO Cities of Literature.
“Thrilling”, “eerie” ‘Strange’ in Calcutta’s biggest newspaper The Telegraph last week…