I’m a huge fan of Jordan’s writing – he creates worlds and characters with such ease that you feel you’ve slipped inside their lives and are observing up close rather than reading about them. This story from his debut collection is a great example of that – I looked up from the book surprised to find myself at home and not, in fact, seated at the diner that the story’s action rotates around. Not much happens in terms of narrative action – people working end of season holiday jobs come and go. They flirt, they talk, they argue a little. There’s no escaping these lives, no escaping the choices they’ve made. Reminiscent of Cannery Row, this story and its characters just got under my skin and stayed there.
First published in What Lies Beneath: A Selection of Short Stories from Kingston Writing School selected by Hilary Mantel and Bonnie Greer, 2015, Kingston University Press. Also in Calls to Distant Places, Kingston University Press, 2019 and available to read online here.