‘The Swan As Metaphor For Love’ by Amelia Gray

What can I say about this story that will sum up how clever it is, and how beautiful it is in all its grossness? This is written like a field guide, with a strong visual element. With carefully choses phrases and beautiful narrative quality, Amelia Gray shows us beyond the ethereal projection of swans that we often seen in literature. I started off wondering how swans could be a metaphor for love, and just within 500 words Gray had convinced me. There is much that lies underneath beyond what we can really see. 

First published in Joyland Magazine, December 21 2012, and available to read here, and collected in Gutshot, FSG, 2015

‘Date Night’ by Amelia Gray

There rises a rallying cry of mutual recognition. This is a celebration! Each piece of internal armor on each individual is so thick with shine that even light from the recent past and the future finds a way to burst forth, shattering across shattering glass, covering all in a blinding healing bleeding screaming LIGHT because that’s what LIFE is, you assholes! That’s what it means to be alive!

The crazed pitch of ‘Date Night’ is probably unsustainable beyond its three pages. A couple go on a date where their heightened anxieties ripple out and affect their view of the other diners – or is everyone in a mass hallucination? ‘A wild look enters all eyes’, ‘Another man flicks open his button fly. His pubic hair scatters like dandelion florets. The man howls and a woman rips his dick off and drops it into a bowl of soup. What’s the deal with soup!’ Is the hysterical narrator in the throes of a utopian vision where everyone is exposed at once and no one has anything to hide? Where people will no longer say inane things like ‘What’s the deal with soup!’ to end conversations? Is it utopian or a vision of hell? I don’t know, but you should read this story here and everything else ever written by Amelia Gray!

First published in Bomb Magazine, March 2012 and available to read online here. Collected in Gutshot, Fsg Originals, 2015

‘The Swan as Metaphor for Love’ by Amelia Gray

The amount of time it will take for me to describe exactly what makes this story so great could be much better served actually reading it, because nothing need be explained: you will read it and know, almost straight away. It’s also full of brilliant, oddly-phrased and very precise details that open up avenues of thought that will make you want to read it again, almost straight away. Go.

Included in Gutshot, FSG Originals, 2015, and available online here