Taboo-busting short stories have strong characters and bold themes
SHORT stories have always been popular, and the particularly great ones have a timeless
quality, which makes them easy to revisit after they have been read.
This surprisingly good debut collection of short stories from actress turned writer Mira Sethi fall into that quality of stories which offer themes that will draw the reader back for another look. Despite being set in the conservative country of Pakistan, the English language stories do not hold back and tackle bold themes with predominantly strong female characters at the helm.
Short stories like Mini Apple, Breezy Blessings and Tomboy essentially look at dilemmas faced by distinctive characters that have been dropped into diverse settings. At the forefront are largely unapologetic women, which is a breath of fresh air. Sethi doesn’t shy away from tackling taboo subjects and shares some interesting wisdom in each one.
The biggest challenge of a short story collection is that each story needs to be of a similar standard to keep the reader fully engaged and Sethi succeeds in that task. Although touching on varied topics and emotions, the well-written stories are of such a high standard that you want to complete each one, instead of skipping to the next. This is largely down to the strong stereotype-smashing female protagonists that bring these stories to life.
But perhaps each story could have been shorter to add more into the book. And some of the stories could have ended better, but that shouldn’t stop you from finding this gem of a book, which might inspire you to look at your own life through another lens. If Sethi can keep this standard of writing, she will be a force to be reckoned with, and don’t be surprised if she delivers a follow-up.