The chillingly clinical phrase collateral damage was originally coined by the Pentagon during the first Gulf War. It was used to euphemistically refer to the deaths and maiming (to say nothing of destroyed livelihoods, disrupted family lives and lost hopes) of innocent civilians who got caught in the crossfire. It rendered those casualties invisible in official reports and television broadcasts, and effectively kept them off the public conscience.
Creative writing teacher, editor, indie publisher. Read mainly literary fiction, and love the short story especially. Also vary my reading diet with a bit of non-fiction. Am a bit of a ploddy reader, can't usually manage more than a book a week, but do try to set aside at least an hour to read each day (usually first thing in the morning).
“In the wealth of privilege, truth, rather than hope, was the greatest gift. Knowledge meant a willingness to see what was there before her eyes”. - Access by Xuxi (Collateral Damage by Sharon Bakar) . . When you have 22 short stories in one book, you know that you are not going to like all of them and that is totally okay. Editor was given a huge responsibility to select stories from number of submissions and eventually, it reflected to what the editor felt was right for the collection. As the book title stated collateral damage which can be defined as an injury inflicted on something other than an intended target. It is important to point out that none of these stories carry the same title but the plot did revolved around the term which usually meant to be used in military context but now can be applied to non military situation as well. The book intended to share stories on that inflicted injury and how it affected people and situation around main characters in each one of them. The featured stories can be quite diverse as some were about marriage (infidelity and domestic abuse), death (funeral rituals), wedding preparation (highlighting the customary practices like dowry and the red packets during Chinese wedding), illegal occupation of one’s land (Palestine conflicts) and even the gap between older and younger generation - the ideals way of life and the sentiment. I am not gonna write all reviews for all of these stories but i will just share few of my favorite ones. I have to be honest that i did not really enjoy this collection as some of these stories kinda forced me to figure out which part of the story is consider ‘collateral damage’. Overall, an okay collection. In some ways, some stories were quite interesting but some were almost overwhelmingly bizarre. I am not sure whether the time i am reading it was not right or it just didn't click with me despite the prose in the book can be quite captivating and beautiful. . . My 5 Favorite stories from the book is : 1. Chewing Gum Boy by Eileen Lui 2. Mahmud and the second hand wheelchair by Mohamed Fairuz Ahmad 3. One Hot Day in the park by Mbak 4. Lily by Nora Adam 5. Marriage are made in heaven by Chee Kok Liang
This is a very good collection of short stories. Most of the stories revolve around complexities of human desires and the "collateral damage" can be seen in terms of loss, regret, death and other forms of repercussions. I enjoyed "Mahmood & The Second hand wheelchair" and "Lester Is Lester". The rest are just fine. I would like to see more similar anthology to be published and perhaps a deeper focus on Malaysia/SEA issues.