Get­ting to grips with orig­i­nal sin

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS -

The New Zealand So­ci­ety of Au­thors cel­e­brates Oc­to­ber 26 – Novem­ber 1 as Book Week. John C. Ross re­views short sto­ries from a Manawatu author and lo­cal pub­lisher. Tony Chapelle. Orig­i­nal Sin and Other Sto­ries. Feild­ing: Ran­gitawa Pub­lish­ing, 2015. Price $25.00.

Th­ese are se­ri­ously high­qual­ity short sto­ries, and oth­ers have thought so by award­ing quite a few of them prizes or ‘highly com­mend­eds’ in var­i­ous com­pe­ti­tions,.

Their set­ting is pro­vin­cial New Zealand. The cen­tral char­ac­ter varies greatly from story to story – male or fe­male, younger or older, Pakeha or Māori, yet al­ways there is psy­cho­log­i­cal insight, some de­gree of com­pas­sion, and a grasp of the com­plex­i­ties of hu­man na­ture, re­la­tion­ships and mo­tives.

The ‘orig­i­nal sin’ of the ti­tle story has a young boy dis­cov­er­ing that some­times it’s right to do wrong, through telling a lie to save a sit­u­a­tion, and cov­er­ing up his older sis­ter’s ven­ture into the mine­field of teenage sex­u­al­ity.

Oth­ers touch on sim­i­lar ter­ri­tory. Sev­eral are ex­panded by re­lat­ing their ac­tions to pic­to­rial art, mainly French paint­ings. Here and in other ways they ben­e­fit from hav­ing not too much ex­pla­na­tion. Un­ob­tru­sively well-shaped, they keep smoothly mov­ing along. A good ex­am­ple is One, in Love with Amy, where the I-nar­ra­tor looks back to his own nine-year-old self liv­ing on his fam­ily’s farm with his twelve-year-old sis­ter, and what hap­pened when Amy, a young woman from the city, came to stay.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.