For the last twelve years, I have taught creative writing at Oxford University and I often teach students who write wonderful short stories. Sadly, the market for short stories in the UK is so limited that many of those stories are, I am sure, still lying around in drawers. ‘Histories’ by Sam Guglani, however, has happily made it out into the world. I may be slightly cheating by including it here because I’m not sure that it is a really a collection of short stories. It may be a fractured novel. It doesn’t have ‘stories’ with regular titles. Instead, it is broken up into section which are like testimonies. Each is a character telling some part of what goes on in the hospital. It hovers somewhere in between and that is part of its appeal. In any event, his stories are quiet, delicate and full of a gentle wonder which persists even in the face of struggle and tragedy.
Published in Histories, Riverrun, 2017