A north Northumberland writer is hoping that his new book will prove that size doesn’t matter.
All The Bananas I’ve Never Eaten by Alnwick-based Tony Williams is a collection of stories so short that some of them fit on a single page.
“There are 72 stories in the book, so there’s plenty going on,” said Tony.
“It’s just that each story only lasts for a page or two.
“When I was writing I was interested in how you could boil down the action of a story into a single scene, just a few paragraphs which show us the characters and their lives.
“The idea is that you could pick up the book for just a minute or two and still come away having read a whole story.
“Hopefully it’s a book that fits in with today’s busy lives.”
Tony, who works as a lecturer in creative writing at Northumbria University, said that the stories are about ‘anything and everything’.
“There are stories about a boy who steals a trundlewheel, an astronaut, a betrayed wife, psychotic twins, romantic commuters, murderers, tramps and useless butchers,” he said,
“The only thing the stories have in common is that I’m always trying to make the reader smile and feel sympathetic to the characters.”
And why that odd title?
“The title story is set in Newcastle, on the Tyne Bridge,” Tony said.
“I used to cross it on my way to work, and if I tell you that I’m scared of heights, that should give you some idea of how I felt when I was walking across.
“If you’re wondering what on earth that’s got to do with bananas, you’ll have to read the book to find out.”
Very short stories, also known as flash fiction, are growing in popularity, and Tony is thrilled to have an acknowledged master of the form endorse his work.
David Gaffney, author of the classic flash fiction book Sawn Off Tales, wrote that ‘these tiny fragile stories are stuffed to the brim with wit and energy and love. If you’re like me you’ll want to read them over and over to unearth their secrets and find out why they leave such a long and lovely aftertaste.’