Consuelo Roland's Reviews > Hair: Weaving & Unpicking Stories of Identity

Hair by Joanne Hichens
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really liked it

There is nothing boring about this anthology! Many of the stories are partially embedded in time and space against the background of South Africa's apartheid legacy, but there is also spontaneity, humour and mystery, and a sense of how one might wriggle out from under the weight of our hair (the burdens of past and present). As the first brilliant story 'The Collection' by Alex Latimer reminds us hair is something dead and yet it makes us alive and present. Other stories that stayed with me (yours may well be different, this collection is that good!): 'Before We Go', 'Spa Ritual', 'The Wisdom of Sunday', 'A Woman's Glory', 'At Length, Hair's Breath,', That Famous Winter Brown', Let The Music Play On', 'Reunion'. And then there's the soulful, beautifully written (not an unnecessary word) 'Lila', by Bongani Kona, that felt like someone had thrown a brick at my chest so that I could hardly breathe with the sadness of it.

My parting thought as I closed this multi-faceted anthology, well satisfied with my investment of time and attention, was that it was a fascinating example of how good curatorship (and editing) can make all the difference for an anthology. The careful choice of genuinely entertaining tales demonstrates the varied possibilities of short stories as well as showcases the quality of the writing. I loved the element of suspense that was threaded through this collection and the elected images that acted as a foreword to each tale, opening up a psychic space and projecting a state of mind and being (hair transects both).
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Reading Progress

September 24, 2019 – Started Reading
November 5, 2019 – Finished Reading
November 19, 2019 – Shelved

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