Anthology celebrates the short fiction genre

A new anthology brings together contemporary women writers from India, the US, the UK and Canada with their stories seeking to compress the composites of life as well as expand its complexities and contradictions.

The Punch Magazine’s ”Anthology of New Writing”, edited and introduced by its founder and publisher Shireen Quadri, features 18 stories by both emerging and established writers.

Founded in 2017, The Punch Magazine has been publishing short stories – along with poetry, creative nonfiction, interviews and reviews – by writers around the world every month.

This anthology, published by Niyogi Books, was conceived to celebrate the short fiction genre.

”At The Punch Magazine, we have published several short stories in the digital magazine for years, we wanted to bring a tangible collection where some high-caliber writers’ works could be showcased,” says Quadri, director of Punch Art & Culture Foundation, which aims to promote the best of literary and cultural traditions around the world.

The Punch Magazine is an initiative by the foundation.

Submissions were invited for this inaugural anthology and they poured in, says Quadri.

”We were looking for stories which could seize us and surprise us by their ingenuity and depth. We were looking at good storytelling, the quality of its narration, language and stories which reflected the human condition in general and had a deep resonance with the times we are living in,” she told PTI.

”These stories were read without revealing the name of the writers to the internal panel in order to keep it totally objective. The stories that made it to the final list were stories that were unanimously selected by the team,” she says.

According to Quadri, the fact that the anthology turned out to be exclusively by women writers was quite incidental.

”After we made the selection, we found out that all the shortlisted stories that had made the cut were by women. They are, however, not specifically about women’s issues. These are just good stories told well by writers who are fond of the form and are trying to excel at it. These are culturally rich and diverse stories,” she says.

The anthology has 14 authors from across India, two from the UK, and one author each from Canada and the US.

The writers whose stories have made the cut are Ameta Bal, Anila SK, Anjali Doney, Camilla Chester, Geetha Nair G, Helen Harris, Humra Quraishi, Jayshree Misra Tripathi, Latha Anantharaman, Meena Menon, Meher Pestonji, Rinita Banerjee, Rochelle Potkar, Sarah Robertson, Shilpa Raina, Tammy Armstrong, Vineetha Mokkil and Vrinda Baliga.

In this anthology, the stories show us how they compress the composites of life as well as expand its complexities and contradictions, Quadri says.

The Punch Magazine has so far published over 250 short stories by Indian and international writers, which include many new voices.

”We have actively advocated for literature and arts by shining a spotlight on the works of artists and writers from India and abroad,” says Quadri, who has just curated the 2022 Special Poetry Issue of The Punch Magazine, which brings together 40 poets from the Indian subcontinent and the diaspora.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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