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365: Stories, Robertson,  James
365: Stories
James Robertson

Paperback $24.99 - Penguin UK
Anthologies, Essays & Journals - Published: 19/Nov/2014 - ISBN: 9780241146866

Before the beginning there was nothing. And nothing came from nothing, since nothing can. But something, somehow, did, and that was the change . . .

A fox and a hound met early one morning on a hillside . . .

There lived a wife at Usher's Well, a woman of substance. She had three sons, big strapping boys, and she sent them on a trip across the sea . . .

On his arrival in Samarra, Death's first thought was to track down the man who had thought to evade him in Baghdad, and settle their score . . .

When my father falls he goes down like a tree . . .

Stories inform and shape us. We are all made of stories. But what do we make of them?

At the beginning of 2013, James Robertson set himself the task of creating a new short story every day of the year, the only restriction being that each one must be exactly 365 words long. A year later, on a daily basis, the stories were published on the internet. Now, in all their range and diversity, the 365 stories are gathered together in one volume. Some draw on elements of ancient myth and legend, others are outtakes from Scottish history and folklore; there are squibs and satires on contemporary issues and insanities, songs and ballads in disguise, fairytales, stories inspired by dreams or in the form of interviews, and personal memories and observations shaped into narratives that have universal resonances.

Underpinning all of them are insistent and vital questions: who are we? What are we doing here? What happens next? And, again and again, Robertson interrogates the matter of what a story is, and why stories are crucial to humans both as individuals and as members of families and wider communities.

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