These beautifully-written stories grow out of David Almond’s childhood in the streets and fields of Tyneside. They’re funny and sad, realistic and strange, and are suffused with a profound sense of mystery and wonder. They show that the ordinary world is filled with extraordinary possibilities, that the local really does contain the universal.
In Counting Stars David Almond tackles the themes common to his work – joy, darkness, love, death and identity – with exquisite sensitivity and tenderness. A must-read for Almond fans everywhere.
An anthology of dark, powerful and moving short stories from a master storyteller, inspired by his childhood in the north-east of England.
A diverse collection of stories from the author of the internationally award-winning Skellig, deftly interwoven with illuminating autobiographical pieces on the inspirations behind the fiction. David Almond says of this unique volume:
“Stories on the page are so beautifully neat. All that lovely black print; those lovely straight lines and paragraphs and pages. But stories are living things, creatures that move and grow in the imaginations of writer and reader. They must be solid and touchable, like the land, and must have fluid half-known depths, like the sea. These stories take place in a real world – but in fiction, real worlds merge with dreamed worlds. Real people walk with ghosts and figments. Earthly truth goes hand-in-hand with watery lies.”
Contents: Introduction :: Slog’s Dad :: May Malone :: When God Came to Cathleen’s Garden :: The Missing Link :: Harry Miller’s Run :: Half a Creature from the Sea :: Joe Quinn’s Poltergeist :: Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads
David Almond was a virtually unknown author when Cullercoats publisher IRON Press issued his first two collections of stories, Sleepless Nights (1985) and A Kind of Heaven (1997).
In 2013, as part of IRON’s 40th birthday celebrations, a selection of these short stories for adults, alongside two previously unpublished tales. were collected in Nesting.
The stories draw deeply from the Tyneside estate of Almond’s childhood, exploring the themes that would inform his later work, and displaying all the rhythm, lyricism and drive for which he is acclaimed today.