Tuesday 3 September 2019

Book Review: Zebra and other stories (short story compilation)

and other stories
Debra Adelaide

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Imprint: Picador Australia
Publication Date: 29th January 2019
Pages: 336
RRP: $29.99 AUD
Format read: paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher

A body buried in a suburban backyard.

A suicide pack worthy of Chekhov.

A love affair born in a bookshop.

The last days of Bennelong.

And a very strange gift for a most unusual Prime Minister...

Tantalising, poignant, wry, and just a little fantastical, this subversive collection of short fiction - and one singular novella - from bestselling author Debra Adelaide reminds us what twists of fate may be lurking just beneath the surface of the everyday.

Zebra and other stories is a compilation of thirteen short stories and a novella.

Adelaide’s writing is lyrical and perceptive, exploring human foibles in all its forms. She proves she can master any writing style; first person, second person and third person perspectives are all executed with perfection.

I’ve read a few anthologies and they have all had a linking element running through the stories. I couldn’t find that connection with Zebra. Some of the stories seemed like a chapter pulled from a bigger story.

In her short stories Adelaide explores love, loss and life. Some stories are humorous, some perceptive and others heart-breaking.

The title story, Zebra, is a novella featuring an unnamed female prime Minister. It is a fanciful tale of conflict solving and lost opportunities, with an ending that left me amused.

Zebra and other stories is an eclectic holiday read filled with beautiful writing however most of the stories left me wanting.


My rating  3/5

This review is part of the Book Lover Book Review Aussie author challenge
and book #28 in the Australian Women Writers challenge

Debra Adelaide is the bestselling author of fifteen books, including the novels The Hotel Albatross, Serpent Dust, The Household Guide to Dying and The Women's Pages and the edited collections Motherlove, Cutting the Cord, Acts of Dog, A Bright and Fiery Troop and The Simple Act of Reading. She has been sold into several territories worldwide. In 2013,she published her first collection of short stories, Letter to George Clooney (longlisted for the Stella prize). Currently a associate professor at the University of Technology Sydney where she teaches creative writing. Adelaide has also held roles as a researcher, book reviewer and literary award judge and she is the founder and managing editor of the Empathy Poems, an online collection of poems of compassion for refugees and people seeking asylum around the world. 


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