Sto­ries of good peo­ple ring true amid trauma

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Books -

stall sell­ing her prize col­lec­tion of 50 lat­est-fash­ion sun­glasses to help with fam­ily fi­nances. A man work­ing for the dole, rather than tell his child­hood abuse story to the po­lice, con­fides in a clean­ing lady. There is a pris­oner who dreams of be­com­ing an artist and a former cham­pion boxer who “four­teen bro­ken noses later re­turns to his home in Cey­lon and be­gins a new ca­reer as a king co­conut seller’’.

All es­sen­tially good peo­ple in tough cir­cum­stances, and all just do­ing the best they can.

It’s hard to write good peo­ple and make them plau­si­ble and in­ter­est­ing, but Wright can. Her di­a­logue is true and her voice un­sen­ti­men­tal, and de­spite the preva­lence of down­beat sub­jects th­ese sto­ries from the ‘‘get in, get out and don’t linger’’ school of sto­ry­telling are full of com­pas­sion.

Michelle Wright demon­strates im­pres­sive con­trol of the short­story form

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