This week I am in love with…

Fatouma Diawara’s live clip and Rebecca Slater’s one-sentence story

To counter the delicious but epic journey of reading Bleak House  I decided to dip into some  flash fiction on the Seizure website (links to follow), particularly to reread ‘The Winnie Blues’ by Sydney writer Rebecca Slater, which takes you so far in so few words. Magic.

On a serendipitous net-noodling loop, I followed links to other writing of hers, which lead me to an experimental writing project in which she rewrote a story in the style of ‘hysterical realism’. Unfamiliar with the term I ended up at the 2000 article in which it was coined by English reviewer James Wood. And who should he claim to be the godfather of hysterical realism? Charles Dickens. And which particular book did he mention? Bleak House. Double magic.

On the music front, the album Fatou, by Malian singer and guitarist Fatouma Diawara, has been on high rotation at my place for about a year and it still sounds fresh.  She recently posted this live clip from her project with Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca and I just can’t get enough of it. Seven minutes of musical heaven.

Here’s ‘The Winnie Blues’

And here’s Fatou Diawara


Further reading?

James Woods’ Classic Takedown of Faux-Dickensian ‘Hysterical Realism’

‘How it feels to be me’ Zadie Smith’s response. (The James Wood article was – among other things – a review of her debut novel White Teeth.)