Author: Julie Bozza
Publisher: Manifold Press
Cover Artist: Nailia Schwarz
Rating: 4.00 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 05/01/2015
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Fiction, Gay, Historical, Lesbian, Trans*
Modern GLBTQI fiction of the Great War
Ten authors – in thirteen stories – explore the experiences of GLBTQI people during World War I. In what ways were their lives the same as or different from those of other people?
A London pub, an English village, a shell-hole on the Front, the outskirts of Thai Nguyen city, a ship in heavy weather off Zeebrugge, a civilian internment camp … Loves and griefs that must remain unspoken, unexpected freedoms, the tensions between individuality and duty, and every now and then the relief of recognition. You’ll find both heartaches and joys in this astonishing range of thought-provoking stories.
Anthologies are not normally my „thing“; I mostly picked this one up because some of my absolutely favorite authors contributed to it. And also because I find the WWI era a fascinating time.
First of all, this isn’t m/m. Well, part of it is, but these stories really cover the whole range of GLBTQI, with protagonists who are male, female or other. And secondly, these stories aren’t romances. Again, well, part of them are, but not all. Some are just snapshots in time, some are whole biographies, some anything in between. Some even merely touch upon the main character’s sexuality, focusing on some other aspect in the life of a person who happens to be GLBTQI.
This book as a whole is hard to rate for me, because as it’s often the case with anthologies, I loved some of the stories, others not so much. However, I didn’t hate any of those stories and found something to appreciate in every single one of them, even those I personally didn’t much care for, so it’s likely more a matter of personal taste. My favorites were “Lena and the Swan” by Julie Bozza which was just delicious, like a picaresque novel, only with a female protagonist, and “Per Ardua at Astra” by Lou Faulkner because it reminded me so much of my grandpa.
This anthology is, in my eyes, a must for readers interested in the WWI – era as well as for fans of the contributing authors. (who might even discover new favorites, like I did.)
It’s high-quality writing throughout, not to be consumed as a whole, but best enjoyed one story at a time.
Oh and 60% of the sales of this book will be donated to the Royal British Legion (a charity organization for veterans and serving members of the British Armed Forces)
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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