Of Myths And Mothers launch at Blackwell’sSarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Manchester’s not-for-profit publisher Fly On The Wall Press is back at Blackwell’s for the launch of Of Myths And Mothers, a new collection of short stories exploring folklore and futurism, in which five writers from across the UK reimagine what it means to be a mother. Through folklore and futurism, these stories question everything from the guest worker economy to childbirth as the world collapses, and the launch event sees contributors Sascha Akhtar, Gaynor Jones, Clayton Lister, Kenzie Millar and Helen Nathaniel-Fulton reading from and signing copies of the book.
Through folklore and futurism, these stories question everything from the guest worker economy to childbirth as the world collapses.
Fly On The Wall Press is a 2022 finalist in the British Book Awards for Small Press of the Year, an accolade they have been awarded three years running, and Of Myths And Mothers follows on from the success of Fly On The Wall’s 2021 season of short stories. The anthology features Manchester writers Gaynor Jones and Kenzie Millar. Gaynor Jones is the recipient of a Northern Writer’s Award and has won first prize in the Bath Flash Fiction Prize and the Mairtín Crawford Short Story Award. Catherine Menon, author of Fragile Monsters, describes her work as “taut, vivid prose that grips the reader”. Kenzie Millar is a writer and reviewer for The Crack magazine, and was a competition judge for the Orton Story 2021 competition. Manchester Fiction Prize judge Nicholas Royle describes her work as “silky prose”.
The other contributors are Clayton Lister, who lives in Northumberland, Paisley-based Helen Nathaniel-Fulton, whose pamphlet of stories Da Vinci’s Cuckoos was published in 2017, and London Poetry School tutor Sascha Akhtar, named one of the top 12 poets to watch by The Guardian after her debut poetry collection, The Grimoire Of Grimalkin (Salt Publishing, 2007), was greeted as “a contemporary masterpiece”.
Fly On The Wall Press’s Isabelle Kenyon says of the book: “Follow hairpin turns into the remote hillsides of North Yorkshire, where two boys take a holiday with their besom-wielding, rabbit-skinning granny. Disappear into dark caves on Philippine islands and scale sheer limestone cliffs with men who search for the world’s most expensive animal product: prized nests woven from a mysterious bird’s saliva, rumoured to make one live forever. Feel sand under your feet in the middle of the night as you search for love beyond limits. You will long to hold a child, even when that instinct has been erased from your body and mind. Of Myths And Mothers will make you see some of our most accepted customs in a new light and fill you with wonder, as the best stories do.”