This is a collection of nineteen short stories, some of which I really like, but there are a couple of which I just didn’t get it, like the story Taking Pictures which graced the title of the book. I like that this Irish writer, winner of The Man Booker Prize 2007. She writes simply and I didn’t have to keep referring to my phone for the dictionary, which is kind of distracting since I end up doing other things with my phone.
I like that this writer experiments with different POVs, and the protagonists consist of males and females of different ages and backgrounds. A facilitator at a writer’s workshop once said, the first story a writer writes is mainly through experience, and subsequently, stories are written through empathy. Anne Enright proves just that. From reading this book, you wouldn’t be able to get a sense of the writer’s bio, not her age nor her background, for her protagonists do not provide any clues.
I bought this book a decade ago when Borders Singapore was still in business and had probably started it many times but did not manage to continue, for the first story did not draw me in. So this time, I started with the second story and then skipped around, without following the sequence, before finally finishing the book. I thoroughly enjoyed In the Bed Department, a story about a middle-aged bed saleswoman who has a one night stand who discovers she is pregnant at a late age. Another story I like is Honey, about a woman who is attracted to her boss and is invited to a working trip with him and is sure, or so she hopes that something will happen. There is this awkwardness of who should make the first move, how often they do it, etc. The writer has managed the inner confllict perfectly.
The problem with short stories is that the ending is often inconclusive, and you are left pondering, which is rather unsatisfying, yet this is apparently what many editors like, a hanging ending, which is unlike the way Roald Dahl writes his short stories, very neat and complete.
Now as a novice writer to short stories, I am left wondering how I should go about with my endings.