An excerpt from ‘Sending for Chantal’, Commonwealth Short Story Prizewinner.


My mother voice growing old over the telephone.

At first I thought was the line crackling, you know sometimes reception ain good considering whether the voice have to travel under the sea or over the sky. Then there was also the business of her getting American. That one was a slow business. When pickney small is only so and so they does notice. Like how when Sunday come and we running up to Uncle Marcus house to hear the telephone and Granny complaining at me slow, she say, slow, your Granny leg ain fass like yourn. And when we reach and the telephone ring BRINGG BRINGG! BRINNG! BRING! and me one cyant control misself is climbing I climbing high on Uncle Marcus kitchen stool. And when she sweet voice come tinkling down the wire like birdies singing or water down the drainpipe is the sound I holding on to and the words follow. ‘Chantal!’ she say, ‘Chantal! How’s my sweetheart honeychile Mummy chocolate fudge eh?’


The Old Chapel in the Secret Garden is the venue for the Canterbury launch of Writing on Water, a collection of short stories described by Jan Montefiore as ‘ …bitter-sweet, beautifully written tales’.  Sharon Millar writes : ‘ Maggie Harris mines the hidden corners of marriage, motherhood, exile, and the places we choose to call home… Whether exploring Guyana’s junglescapes and flatlands, Irish cliffs or rural Wales, her characters arrive on the page eager to tell their stories.’

Launching  at WISE WORDS FESTIVAL, MAY 4th, 7pm, The Old Chapel, The Secret Garden, Stour St, Canterbury. Tickets available from http://www.wisewordsfestival.co.uk


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