Anthology of culturally diverse writers create short works in reaction to Kipling’s Just So Stories
Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories was one of the first true children’s books in the English language, a timeless classic that continues to delight readers to this day. Beautiful, evocative and playful, the stories of How the Whale Got His Throat or the First Letter Written paint a magical, primal world.
It’s also deeply rooted in British colonialism. Kipling saw the Empire as a benign, civilising force, and his writing can be troubling to modern readers. Not So Stores attempts to redress the balance, bringing together new and established writers of colour from around the world to take the Just So Stories back, giving voices to cultures that were long deprived them.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
David Thomas Moore is the editor of Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets, alt.sherlock.holmes, Monstrous Little Voices and Dracula: Rise of the Beast. Among other hobbies, he is an enthusiastic but inexperienced Bolognese sword-and-buckler fighter. Australian by birth, he lives in the United Kingdom with his wife and daughter.
Back when she was a child, Zina Hutton once jumped out of a window to escape dance class in the Virgin Islands. Now she's an aspiring fantasy writer who tends to leap headfirst into new stories and worlds the second that inspiration strikes. Zina lives in hot and humid South Florida where she’s never far away from a notebook and her precious Kindles. Zina currently works as a freelance editor and writer with publication credits in Fireside Fiction, The Mary Sue, Strange Horizons, ComicsAlliance and Women Write About Comics and you can find her at stitchmediamix.wordpress.com and on twitter as @stichomancery.
Georgina Kamsika is a speculative fiction writer born to Anglo-Indian immigrant parents, and has spent most of her life explaining her English first name, Polish surname and Asian features. She graduated from the Clarion West workshop in 2012, studying under a roster of instructors that included George R.R. Martin, Connie Wills and Chuck Palahniuk.
As a second-generation immigrant, her work often utilises the speculative element to examine power structures that are mirrored in the real word, touching on issues of race, class, and gender. Her current novel, The Goddess of the North, is with her agent.
Paul Krueger is the author of Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge, a novel about bartenders who fight demons with alcohol magic. He lives in Los Angeles, and can be found on Twitter at @NotLikeFreddy.
Tauriq Moosa is a contributor to the Guardian, Daily Beast and other publications. He focuses on ethics, justice, technology and pop culture. His work has been referred to by The New York Times, the Washington Post, Forbes and other places. He once debated Desmond Tutu about god.
Ali Nouraei is a Persian-British writer who blends history, philosophical debate, and cultural paradigms from East and West in his writing. He is a qualified Barrister, a practicing Mediator, and has written fiction for fifteen years. His passions include history, literature, and cake. He tweets as @AliNouraei.
Zedeck Siew used to work in Malaysian media, covering art, culture and parliament. He has written and performed for the stage; earns his keep as a translator from the Malay language; and co-designed Politiko, a card game about Malaysian party politics. He is currently working on an illustrated catalogue of imaginary Southeast Asian animals, Creatures of Near Kingdoms, out in late 2017.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Not So Stories was compiled as a response to Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories, which Nikesh Shukla describes in his foreword as "steeped in colonial nostalgia." I don't recall if I've specifically read Just So Stories (which I've recently found on Project Gutenberg) but if it's in the same vein as other Kipling books I've read, I get what he means. Not So Stories tries to recreate a new collection of animal tales from multicultural, multiethnic lenses, "confronting readers with the real harm colonialism did and taking the Just So Stories back." I cannot meaningfully compare the two right now but I will say that this book both succeeds and fails in its intent. It succeeds because this wonderful collection of short stories does offer a multitude of unique voices, some of which I can personally identify with as a Southeast Asian, and some of which I can recognise and understand as stories from other cultures, none of which revert to the standard white male Christian point of view that I grew up with as an Anglophilic Chinese-Malaysian. Yet, where it fails is in its target audience--although the anthology is purported to be for children, one story has sexual elements unsuitable for younger readers and at least two others have themes that would probably only appeal to adults. Maybe if it had been targetted for "adults who grew up reading the original as children," it would have succeeded on all counts. Overall, I'd say that each individual story in Not So Stories is great on its own (except the ants. What was with the ants?) but the problem is that not all of them fit together quite well in the same book. Where I was expecting a fantastic collection of animal tales for children (or at least tales related to animals), some stories veered off into the paranormal and the mythical, and some into very adult mindsets/settings. Note: I received a digital copy of this book via NetGalley. I was given the book with no expectation of a positive review and the review is my own.