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'Something of a celebration of tricksters and travellers, The Book of Many Masks collects nine stories from all around the world and arranges them into a collage that conceals as much as it reveals. Bert Spinks combines traditional folk tales with personal experience to sketch a colourful world populated with magicians and politicians, young mothers and commemorated fathers, historical voyagers and lovelorn modern-day tourists. The Book of Many Masks is a stage where the spotlight shines on those who have the most to hide, and more importantly, have the skill to hide it.'
FROM THE BOOK
Between: On the margins of a presidential election campaign, a forgotten young woman in the state of Georgia tries to connect the loose ends of economics, birth and death, beauty, television, international relations, religion - and most of all, her 'stupid-ass' boyfriend Henry.
OTHER SHORT STORIES
The Face Reader: Inspired by the humorous studies of language and culture by authors such as G.V. Desani ('All About H.Hatterr') and Thomas Pynchon, as well as an interest in ideas about Orientalism and personal experiences in Asia, this short story follows the first morning of a businessman asked to travel to an Asian mega-city in which he encounters a menace of a taxi driver, ghastly breakfast, and a woman claiming to tell his future by reading his face.
Half a Man: This story gives a short account of the life of Pyotr, a young boy who busks on the trams of a post-Soviet satellite city to help his family make ends meet. Half a Man manages to treat the characters with compassion and pathos, without veering into sentimentality.
We Know the Wait: This twenty-five line poem is the continuation of reflections on the tension of being human in a world that is increasingly obsessed with efficiency and gratification. Poet and essayist Wendell Berry was an influence.
Dust Bowl: Centred upon questions of belonging and courage, this poem follows the thoughts of a child tackling the fear he feels in being small, being an outsider, and being alive in a frenzied world.
More stories and poems coming soon on www.storytellerspinks.com.