If I Had the Wings: Short Stories

If I Had the Wings: Short Stories Author Helen Klonaris
ISBN-10 1845233468
ISBN-13 9781845233464
Year 2017-08-01
Pages 160
Language English
Publisher Peepal Tree Press Ltd.
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Growing up gay in the small Greek Bahamian community which feels its traditional culture and religious pieties are under threat is fraught with constraints and even danger The main characters in Helen Klonariss poetic inventive and sometimes transgressive collection of short stories confront this reality as part of their lives Yet there are also ways in which young women in several of the stories search for roots in that tradition to find within it alternatives to the dominant influence of the Orthodox church These include attempts to make connections between their Caribbean lives and the figures and narratives drawn from Greek mythology Klonaris focuses closely on family relationships in particular the compexities of father daughter relationships ranging from over bearing authority absence and incest Klonariss characters are very much part of the wider realities in Bahamian society including the presence of unregistered immigrants from Haiti and the interplay between fear repression hypocrisy and resistance in the relations between the state the churches and the LGBT community Running through the stories is an intensive focus on the body In Flies bodily dissolution becomes a powerful metaphor for Marjorie St Georges elite White fear that her world is disappearing with the islands independence whilst in Weeds two young women use their bodies quite literally and wittily to fight back against the thou shall nots of the church These wonderfully realised collection of stories range from the realistic to the speculative and fantastical It is rich with metaphors of flight and submersion creatures of the sea and birds of the air providing threads that tie the stories together in a satisfying whole