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Jenny Green Teeth and other Short Stories
by Joel Hayward
Totem Press, 2003
"Superb. ... Deep, brooding and intense. ... This is storytelling, and New Zealand fiction, at its best."
— Evening Standard, 9 May 2003
"This is a stunning book of short stories, for their sheer variety and depth, and also strength of language. The 'fable' aspect of the title story is compelling and real, not that I will give away any of the plot here! 'My Own Grave,' about the Terrace End Cemetery is scary. It is strange that dead people are treated as so real, but that is the stuff of exciting storytelling. Hayward writes with an eye to truth and justice and historical accuracy. It is up to us to know what to do with writing as superb as this. Can we learn?"
— Southern Ocean Review, Issue 27 (12 April 2003)
Good New Zealand short stories are almost as rare as the Kakapo, but prove as entrancing and satisfying when found. This collection of unique and powerful stories (some set in the past, others in the here-and-now) avoids the current trends of trivial anecdotal narrative and over-the-top fantasy. Written in various styles and in different voices, the rich and evocative tales in Jenny Green Teeth and other Short Stories will move, sadden, delight and provoke readers. Few stories let the reader escape without challenges to his or her assumptions and none let the reader avoid engaging the subtly revealed underpinning issues.
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