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August 07 , 2008

Small Holes In The Silence


This is a fine new collection of short stories by the much-loved Patricia Grace, probably never more popular since the great commercial success of the novel Tu.The feast of stories is varied: urban, rural, New Zealand, overseas, tribal, contemporary.An elderly woman, whose husband has died, gathers firewood on the beach while the appliances in her house fall to bits one by one. Willie falls in love with a statue.Great-grandmother reveals how she chose her husband-to-be both of them. Rona curses the Moon. Petina tells Raycharles she's looking for a father for her baby.The thread that runs through all the stories, though, is Grace's huge sympathy for the underdog and the perspective of the outsider. The world she depicts is often a stark and unsentimental place, in which people struggle against ageing, rejection, violence and betrayal.

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