1st November 2015
Between Here & Knitwear Short Fiction
These twenty-two cleverly linked stories by Chrissie Gittins, written over two decades, trace a life from childhood to middle age. Beginning in Lancashire in the ‘60s and ‘70s, they follow a young girl as she becomes aware of what it means to be a daughter, a sister, a lover and a woman in a family where the relationships are constantly changing.
From a disappeared clutch of curlew’s eggs to the last piece of furniture left standing in a home, these bleak and funny stories bolster what is lost into poignant narratives; told with lyricism, economy and wit, they are observed with the unflinching eye of an incisive witness.
Nicolas Clee, The Guardian
“Most of them carry an insidiously discomforting charge. She writes about the banalities of daily life, but not for easy comedy. Observing the small things that are significant to people, she shows how her characters are essentially alone.”
Phil Baker, Sunday Times
“exceptional … Gittins has a superb way with evocative suburban detail and chord-striking experiences. These candid stories follow her life through to dying mum, dementing dad and beyond.”
Helen Dunmore, Best Short Story Collections of 2015
“These twenty-two stories are tough, flexible fibres of Lancashire lives, woven together with laconic wit and warmth of feeling. Arguments, sex and raw solitude: all familiar, all seen anew.”
Durre S. Mughal, Wales Arts Review
“There is consistency in the style and length of each, mirroring how memories are remembered like a kaleidoscope. While the stories are very much standalone vignettes, they also flow together as sequential chapters, making it a very satisfying and captivating collection to read.”
Barbara Waite, Lancashire Life
“The tightly-written stories deal with the small events in life making them very profound and memorable. They are at times bleak, at others funny, but always a little haunting.”
K.J. Orr, Times Literary Supplement
“Gittins conveys not only memory’s tendency to focus suddenly and fully on selected moments, but equally the impulse that works to shape them into the narrative of a life.”