A collection of short stories by new and established Southern African women writers on the theme of Bed.
Novuyo Rosa Tshuma
Luso Katali Mnthali
Lauri Kubuitsile is a full time writer who lives in Botswana. She has published children’s and youth books, as well as many short stories. She has won prizes for her adult short fiction and her youth books.
Joanne Hichens is a crime fiction writer, editor and journalist. Her books have been published locally and abroad. She has an MA in Creative Writing from UCT.
“I used to say, I haven’t read short stories since college literature classes. I can’t say that now since I’m reading more of them lately. I just finished The Bed Book of Short Stories.
The stories in The Bed Book of Short Stories were written by authors, some new, some well-known and established, from Africa. There you have the first common denominator – they are all African writers. The second commonality among the stories is that in each of them a bed played a role.
The idea of “bed” being a thread throughout the book interested me. I admit, though, knowing the writers were all from Africa intrigued me since just about all the books I read are by American, Canadian, or British authors. I thought that The Bed Book of Short Stories would take me to places I’d never been before. It did. And I wasn’t disappointed.
Some stories will make you smile. Some will make you cry. All are well-written and compelling. In some, the bed is a comfy mattress. In others, it is a rolled up pad on your back as you trudge through heat and pain trying to reach a safe-haven.
I loved all the stories, but the one that still plays in my mind is Stains Like A Map by Jayne Bauling. It’s brilliantly told in first person. You live in a woman’s head as her life undergoes major changes, from her marriage bed to hauling that bed on her back as she and her husband walk through heat and exhaustion for days, trying to reach a better life. She experiences great loss and depressing fear, but trudges forward. By the end of the story, I had to put down the book since I was crying too hard to read another one.
But I did later go on to read all of the stories. I would recommend that you, too, read all of them. They can give you a new perspective on life, happiness, suffering, and joy.
I give The Bed Book of Short Stories a Hel-Yeah.”