by Maggie Harris
In Margate by Lunchtime brings more stories from Maggie Harris’s adopted home of Kent. Set in the seaside towns of Thanet, the exotic creatures that inhabit these tales – flamingos, parakeets, a mermaid on a Vespa – are like the human migrants, sometimes shining, more often trying to find their place in an unwelcoming environment. Expect more of the magic that Harris weaved in her debut story collection, Canterbury Tales on a Cockcrow Morning.
Read a review of In Margate by Lunchtime here, which appeared on londongrip.co.uk.
978-0-9926485-3-4. Cultured Llama. PB. xvi+188=204pp. 203x127mm. Feb 2015. Short Stories. £12.00.
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What a treat is in store for readers as they discover this superb collection of eclectic stories and poems from the Guyanese writer, Maggie Harris.
Broadstairs, Margate, Ramsgate – this part of the Kent coast is a far cry from her native Guyana, but through a diverse collection of stories she paints such vivid shades of humanity.
The pull of the sea brings in refugees, families, tourists, ‘cool boys’, the lonely, the dispossessed, saviours, ordinary folk … all reflected in this fabulous collection.
The stories are funny, sad, moving, poignant, touching and whimsical – brilliant!
There is something for everyone in this collection – animals, families, history, humour, magic, memory, mystery, raw emotions, realism, the sea, time slips/travel and war.
I think this collection will make a fine book-group reader. I shall certainly be adding it to our collections in Southwark and Lewisham libraries. I particularly loved ‘Talking Books’ (so realistic) and ‘When Benjamin Zephaniah came to Broadstairs’.
It is a very brave collection as Maggie Harris has obviously decided to do something quite different and exciting. I for one can’t wait to see more of her splendid writing – no pressure of course.
Sandra A. Agard, Literature Development Officer
for Southwark and Lewisham Libraries
A complex love letter to the Kent coastline that Harris moved to when she was a teenager, In Margate By Lunchtime is an accomplished examination of displacement and discovery. Written in a vibrant prose style that – especially in its use of colour and poetic rhythm – also recalls the landscape of the author’s native Guyana, these stories linger in the mind, posing difficult questions and providing unexpected answers.
John Lavin, Fiction Editor, Wales Arts Review
Maggie Harris was born in Guyana and has lived in Kent and Wales. A poet and prose writer, she won the Guyana Prize for Literature in 2000 and is the Caribbean winner of the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She has taught Creative Writing at the University of Kent and was an International Teaching Fellow at Southampton University.
See details of her previous book, Canterbury Tales on a Cockcrow Morning, also published by Cultured Llama