€12 (incl. p&p)
by Tina Pisco
Surreal, sad, zany, funny, Tina Pisco’s stories are drawn from gritty experience as much as the swirling clouds of the imagination. An astute, empathetic, sometimes savage observer, she brings her characters to life. They dance themselves onto the pages, and waltz around your mind long after the book is put down. This eclectic collection of flash fiction, short stories, a comic book and a novella, is a minefield of surprises.
Tina Pisco’s stories are razor-sharp, poignant and darkly humorous. Gloriously inventive, they feature, among other things, spells, selkies and a very sinister cat; they also feature compelling explorations of human relationships and of the suffering engendered by conflict and displacement. The result is a collection that is both touching, and laugh out loud funny.
I loved Ruby and the Red Tent…Long Live all the Denizens of the Red Tent, and those on the outside too.
The novella, A Carol’s Christmas, is a timely updating of the Dickensian fable and a zippy read with a feminist punch to it. An entertainment with a status-quo challenging message which should be read as a life-saving antidote by anyone who intends to waste their existence in the fruitless and all-round destructive pursuit of money, status, and the ‘business career’.
Tina Pisco’s Sunrise Sunset is a fascinating read. This collection of fiction is inhabited by a kaleidoscope of characters from the pimp, the prostitute and the perfect husband of Erase and Rewind – to The Lobster Boat – with the everyday housewife who gradually realises she is not what she seems to be. This book is an Aladdin’s cave of gems that offers the perfect blend of magic surrealism and gritty realism.
Tina Pisco needs no introduction – she’s been a presence on the West Cork literary scene for so long that it’s hard to think of her as an outsider – though all writers are outsiders, I suppose – but Tina is the most insidery outsider I know.
She’s a professional writer and I mean that in both senses of the word. She earns her crust through her writing as a novelist, poet, editor, journalist, creative writing teacher and short story writer. But I also mean she’s a professional in the mastery of her craft – in all of these different genres. She’s a pro – and it shows in this collection of her short fiction.
If you think of the short story as a balloon – round, pleasing spherical – then “Sunrise and Sunset” is like a set of party balloons that have been turned by dexterous hands into all sorts of magical shapes – giraffes, rabbits, alligators. In this collection, Tina Pisco shows us the elasticity and sheer inventiveness of the short story. She shows us what the form is capable of.
Writing short fiction is probably the most self-indulgent thing that I do. It’s like baking a chocolate ganache tart for oneself. I did not write these stories for anyone but me; for no other reason than that wholly hedonistic thrill of writing that feels almost elicit.
It is therefore with true gratitude that I thank all those who made it possible to bring these self-indulgent fictions to print.
First and foremost, I want to thank Fish Publishing and Clem Cairns. He is of that lost breed of publishers who truly nurture and support their writers over an entire career. It has been my good fortune to call Clem my friend and mentor for over twenty years.
Thanks to Mary Jane Holmes (Senior Editor at Fish) for her muscular edit and eagle-eye. She made my stories clean up, sit up straight, and look their best.
John Noonan worked his graphic magic on the cover and type-setting. My thanks go out to him for producing a beautiful book, as well as for all the love, kindness and support that makes my ordinary pure bliss.
Thanks to Sean Leonard for enticing me into writing for comics, and to James O’Callahan for being the best editor a fledging comic book writer could hope for. Thanks also to Tony Rollison for his excellent artwork on The Spinsters’ House
Thanks to all my friends who have read various versions of the stories over the years: Steven Tate, Kathy Darcy, David Bickley, Stephen Byrne, Mia Gallagher, Madelaine D’Arcy, Anja Bakker… Apologies to all those whom I have forgotten to mention. Many thanks as well, to Conal Creedon, Dave Lordan, Danielle Mclaughlin, and David Mitchell for helping me with the dreaded blurbs.
Finally, thanks to my family: my four daughters, my father, my sister and all the extended Gandiaga and Pisco branches.
Comments are due to the following publications who first published versions of some of the stories: The Fish Garden Anthology, Spolia Magazine, Colony, The Twisted Tales Anthology, The Bogman’s Cannon, and Grayhaven Comics Dark Anthology3.
The practitioners of the art of brevity and super-brevity whose work is in this book have mastered the skills and distilled and double-distilled their work like the finest whiskey.More
€12 (incl. p&p) Sunrise Sunset by Tina Pisco Surreal, sad, zany, funny, Tina Pisco’s stories are drawn from gritty experience as much as the swirling clouds of the imagination. An astute, empathetic, sometimes savage observer, she brings her characters to life. They dance themselves onto the pages, and waltz around your mind long after […]More
How do we transform personal experience of pain into literature? How do we create and then chisel away at those images of others, of loss, of suffering, of unspeakable helplessness so that they become works of art that aim for a shared humanity? The pieces selected here seem to prompt all these questions and the best of them offer some great answers.
– Carmen Bugan.
What a high standard all round – of craft, imagination and originality: and what a wide range of feeling and vision.
I was struck by how funny many of the stories are, several of them joyously so – they are madcap and eccentric and great fun. Others – despite restrained and elegant prose – managed to be devastating. All of them are the work of writers with talent.
The writing comes first, the bottom line comes last. And sandwiched between is an eye for the innovative, the inventive and the extraordinary.More
A new collection from around the globe: innovative, exciting, invigorating work from the writers and poets who will be making waves for some time to come. David Mitchell, Michael Collins, David Shields and Billy Collins selected the stories, flash fiction, memoirs and poems in this anthology.More
Reading the one page stories I was a little dazzled, and disappointed that I couldn’t give the prize to everybody. It’s such a tight format, every word must count, every punctuation mark. ‘The Long Wet Grass’ is a masterly bit of story telling … I still can’t get it out of my mind.
– Chris Stewart
The perfectly achieved story transcends the limitations of space with profundity and insight. What I look for in fiction, of whatever length, is authenticity and intensity of feeling. I demand to be moved, to be transported, to be introduced into other lives. The stories I have selected for this anthology have managed this. – Ronan Bennett, Short Story Judge.More
I sing those who are published here – they have done a very fine job. It is difficult to create from dust, which is what writers do. It is an honour to have read your work. – Colum McCannMore
The entries into this year’s Fish Short Story Prize were universally strong. From these the judges have selected winners, we believe, of exceptional virtue. – Carlo GeblerMore
I was amazed and delighted at the range and quality of these stories. Every one of them was interesting, well-written, beautifully crafted and, as a short-story must, every one of them focused my attention on that very curtailed tableau which a short-story necessarily sets before us. – Michael CollinsMore
These stories voice all that is vibrant about the form. – Gerard Donovan. Very short stories pack a poetic punch. Each of these holds its own surprise, or two. Dive into these seemingly small worlds. You’ll come up anew. – Angela Jane FountasMore
Each of the pieces here has been chosen for its excellence. They are a delightfully varied assortment. More than usual for an anthology, this is a compendium of all the different ways that fiction can succeed. I invite you to turn to ‘All the King’s Horses’. The past is here. Begin.
– Michel Faber
Literary anthologies, especially of new work, act as a kind of indicator to a society’s concerns. This Short Story collection, such a sharp and useful enterprise, goes beyond that. Its internationality demonstrates how our concerns are held in common across the globe. – Frank DelaneyMore
From the daily routine of a career in ‘Spoonface’, to the powerful, recurring image of a freezer in ‘Shadow Lives’. It was the remarkable focus on the ordinary that made these Fish short stories such a pleasure to read. – Hugo HamiltonMore
In a world where twenty screens of bullshit seem to be revolving without respite … there is nothing that can surpass the ‘explosion of art’ and its obstinate insistence on making sense of things. These dedicated scribes, as though some secret society, heroically, humbly, are espousing a noble cause.
– Pat McCabe
It’s supposed to be a short form, the good story, but it has about it a largeness I love. There is something to admire in all these tales, these strange, insistent invention. They take place in a rich and satisfying mixture of places, countries of the mind and heart. – Christopher HopeMore
There are fine stories in this new anthology, some small and intimate, some reaching out through the personal for a wider, more universal perspective, wishing to tell a story – grand, simple, complex or everyday, wishing to engage you the reader. – Kate O’RiodanMore
I feel like issuing a health warning with this Fish Anthology these stories may seriously damage your outlook – Here the writers view the world in their unique way, and have the imagination, talent, and the courage to refine it into that most surprising of all art forms the short story. – Clem Cairns.More
Every story in this book makes its own original way in the world. knowing which are the telling moments, and showing them to us. And as the narrator of the winning story casually remarks, ‘Sometimes its the small things that amaze me’ – Molly McCloskeyMore
The stories here possess the difference, the quirkiness and the spark. They follow their own road and their own ideas their own way. It is a valuable quality which makes this collection a varied one. Read it, I hope you say to yourself like I did on many occasions, ‘That’s deadly. How did they think of that?’ – Eamonn SweeneyMore
Really good short stories like these, don’t read like they were written. They read like they simply grew on the page. – Joseph O’ConnorMore
The writers in this collection can write short stories . . . their quality is the only thing they have in common. – Roddy DoyleMore
This is the first volume of short stories from Ireland’s newest publishing house. We are proud that fish has enabled 15 budding new writers be published in this anthology, and I look forward to seeing many of them in print again.More
12 Miles Out was selected by David Mitchell as the winner of the Fish Unpublished Novel Award.
A love story, thriller and historical novel; funny and sad, uplifting and enlightening.
You only know who you can’t trust. You can’t trust the law, because there’s none in New Ireland. You can’t trust the Church, because they think they’re the law. And you can’t trust the State, because they think they’re the Church And most of all, you can’t trust your friends, because you can’t remember who they were anymore.More
A memoir of urban life, chronicled through its central character, Mackey. From momentary reflections to stories about his break with childhood and adolescence, the early introduction to the Big World, the discovery of romance and then love, the powerlessness of ordinary people, the weaknesses that end in disappointment and the strengths that help them seek redemption and belonging.More
Ian Wild’s stories mix Monty Python with Hammer Horror, and the Beatles with Shakespeare, but his anarchic style and sense of humour remain very much his own in this collection of tall tales from another planet. Where else would you find vengeful organs, the inside story of Eleanor Rigby, mobile moustaches, and Vikings looting a Cork City branch of Abracababra?More