One of the 12 titles, longlisted for 2019’s Dylan Thomas Prize is ‘How The Light Gets In’ by Clare Fisher. I had the honour of reading & reviewing this wonderful bundle of short stories.
‘How The Light Gets In’ is a remarkable bundle of short stories that makes you think – and think again. Sometimes you grasp the author’s meaning right from the start, sometimes you ponder afterwards how to interpret this. Insightful. Thought-provoking. Love the touch of humour shining through making even heavy topics bearable – almost approachable.
How do you describe little scenes that have so much meaning? How to tell what’s going through my head after finishing one of Clare Fisher’s short stories? Everyone who reads it will take something else with them – based upon their own lives and experiences. What will you take away from ‘How the Light Gets In’?
Knowing someone with depression – how they deal with it and how sometimes, everything they do in public is a sort of show, how outer appearances hide what’s behind the eyes – inside their mind is who I felt close to reading Clare Fisher’s short stories.
Mind, not all (and perhaps not most) are about depression but I think that’s the strength of these stories: we all take away something from it based on our feelings and experiences. Based on our perception of life and through our eyes.
‘The Neurotic’ and ‘Textbook
The funny thing is, well for me anyway, that at first I found it difficult to get into the author’s mindset and searched for the purpose of each story. I struggled to ‘see’ the author behind what was written, found it at times hard to get into. But with each following story, I started to recognise the author’s play with words and felt compelled to read just one more… and one more.
That’s when I started to like and admire the creative brain and process – started to highly appreciate what was written how. Loving the diversity of the stories, from somewhat abstract ones to very personal ones that related to.. say fried chicken.
The book is divided into four segments: Learning to Live with Cracks – How the Light gets between You and Me – How the Light gets Out – Learning to Live with Cracks again. In between are some beauties. I know the topic of ‘A Shock’ isn’t to be mocked with but the way Clare Fisher describes it and especially the ending made me chuckle. Brilliant!
One little gem I need to mention because it choked me up: ‘The Moon on Your Face.’ Gosh, I LOVE it. How we can change the way we see things by thinking out of the box. By not focussing on the negative but the positive. How sometimes, it’s good to have a different perspective on … life.
What do you take away from ‘How the Light gets in’? Read it and let me know!
About the Author
Clare Fisher was born in Tooting, south London in 1987. After accidentally getting obsessed with writing fiction when she should have been studying for a BA in History at the University of Oxford, Clare completed an MA in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths College, University of London.
An avid observer of the diverse area of south London in which she grew up, Clare’s writing is inspired by her long-standing interest in social exclusion and the particular ways in which it affects vulnerable women and girls. She now lives in Leeds, where she writes, teaches creative writing and works as a bookseller. All The Good Things is her first novel. eared in The New Yorker, The New York Times and The London Review of Books.
She is the author of Conversations with Friends and winner of the Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer Award 2017. Her second novel Normal People was published in 2018 and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She is the editor of the biannual Dublin literary magazine The Stinging Fly.
‘How The Light Gets In’ is available at Amazon
|Publisher||Influx Press (7 June 2018)|