When I received the AI sheet for the latest release from our friends The Emma Press, First Fox by Leanne Radojkovich my interest was well and truly piqued. I am an ardent fan of the short form and being a commuter, I love to get my fiction fix in commute friendly instalments and this new collection of short stories delivers on this excellently well but First Fox is delightful in so many other ways too.


In today’s social and political climate, there is a focus everywhere one looks on outward portrayals and inward truths that Radojkovich explores with subtle skill and excellently well-conceived brevity. This coupled with a startlingly honest, warm and at times darkly humorous tone makes for exactly the type of fiction which is able to commentate and provoke thought on life in 2017.

 

This 46 page collection packs a punch within its pages and through employment of a slightly dreamlike and surreal narrative style questions quiet, non-descript suburbia and throws into the light a world of darkness seething with uncomfortable realities, extraordinary situations in seemingly ordinary circumstances and a good measure of perfectly well timed dark humour which binds the collection together.

 

I always find it so difficult to select a ‘favourite’ story from a collection largely because I like to appreciate the role each individual story plays within it, but there are some particularly stand out stories here which I think deserve a mention ‘First Fox’ the title story is excellently crafted, intriguing, magical and a captivating choice for the lead. ‘Mila and the Cat’ is uncomfortable strange and for those reasons, utterly compelling and ‘New Light’ left me chilled to the bone and looking over my shoulder. The power of these stories to move and disturb the reader is for me, where their success lies and I am pleased that First Fox has been added to the Literature Works bookshelves – a little collection published by the innovative Emma Press that has a big impact and makes a lot of noise from its pages to celebrate the powerful and dynamic short story as a form of fiction which is enjoying ever growing popularity and Leanne Radojkovich demonstrates with this collection precisely why.

 

A thoroughly recommended read, First Fox is available now published by The Emma Press.