Maggie Harris brings warmth and humour to her Canterbury Tales on a Cockcrow Morning, and tops them with a twist of calypso.
Here are pilgrims old and new: Eliot living in ‘This Mother Country’ for half a century; Samantha learning that country life is not like in the magazines.
There are stories of regret, longing and wanting to belong; a sense of place and displacement resonates throughout.
Paperback; 138pp; 203×127 mm; 978-0-9568921-6-4; September 2012; Cultured Llama; £12.00
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Finely tuned to dialogue and shifting registers of speech, Maggie Harris’ fast-moving prose is as prismatic as the multi-layered world she evokes. Her Canterbury Tales, sharply observed, are rich with migrant collisions and collusions.
John Agard, Playwright, poet and children’s writer
Maggie Harris takes us by the hand and says, look again. Look, and listen to the people who matter, these everyday people we might otherwise miss whether we are on the train, in a Chinese take-away, sitting next to an empty barstool. This is vivid and compelling writing, but most of all – like the original – it’s great storytelling.
Sarah Salway, Canterbury Laureate
Six hundred years on, here are Canterbury’s new pilgrims, as diverse and garrulous as Chaucer’s were, and speaking in a variety of Englishness which, like Chaucer’s, are hybrid and poetic. Maggie Harris creates stories about the nitty-gritty of ‘ordinary’ folk’s lives, which, although often dealing with tragedy, pettiness, and awareness of loss, are also infused with warmth, humour and optimism. Each brief story or sketch gives voice to a character … whose tales quickly draw you in, and sometimes, unwittingingly, suggest a world of experience.
Lyn Innes, Emeritus Professor of Postcolonial
Literatures, University of Kent
Canterbury Tales on a Cockcrow Morning costs £10 (plus £2 postage and packing) or £20 for two copies (p&p free) and is available to buy direct from this website (or from your local bookshop or Amazon).