Book Reviews

Love on the Road – Book Review

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Love on the Road – Review by Dan O’Neill

– On the Love Book

Authors – Tendai Huchu, Marlene Olin, Shirley Fergenson, Nod Ghosh, Catherine McNamara, Stanley Kenani, Barry Reddin, Tendayi Bloom, Lily Mabura, Jackie Davis Martin, Alice Bingner and Gregory Wolos.

‘Love on the Road 2015’ is the second volume of short stories from international writers to come out of the increasingly commendable ‘Liberties Press’ publishing stable. Taking twelve writers from round the World, the editors, Sam Tranum and Lois Kapila bring us on a whistle-stop tour on the theme of love – or should that be love with a capital ‘L’? – and the ties that bind us together (the same ones that can set us apart).

Love, separation and emotion – who hasn’t been hurt, who hasn’t loved? These stories from Australia, Ireland, Kenya, Malawi, New Zealand, the UK, the USA and Zimbabwe exhibit that although cultures may be different, we still are bound by common feelings and love is probably
the most important social tie.

It might be invidious to choose favourites among such a smart and pleasing collection; however, such is the privilege of a reviewer that they can occasionally indulge themselves. Stanley Kenani from Malawi has written a particularly powerful and tragic story on the subject of migration and boats across the Mediterranean in ‘We Will Dance in Lampedusa’. It’s a piece of writing that re-engages a reader with the humanity of the boat people and, as such, is a stand-out story for this reviewer.

Also worthy of distinguished mention is ‘In the Heat’ by the American writer Jackie Davis Martin. There is a fine evocation of place, a baking hot Athens, and an astute drawing of characters in this tale of love and betrayal. It is a particularly elegant piece of writing.

The editors are to be congratulated on their good story selection. There is humour and passion. The tales are complimentary yet can also be seen as separate entities. This is a collection for misanthropes and lovers alike. There is, in the ‘Late Late’ sense of the phrase, something for everyone in this book. A worthy exegesis on what it means to be human, to love and to lose love.

‘Love on the Road 2015 – Twelve More Tales of Love and Travel’ – Edited by Sam Tranum and Lois Kapila – Liberties Press – €12.99 rrp

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