Short Stories Aloud

Blackwell’s Oxford

I don’t think I squeal about it enough. I love my life. Particularly when last night’s happiness lingers this long.

In case you have forgotten, I have a savage crush on Tessa Hadley and before I burst out with it, I knew that a story of hers was to be read last night at an event in Oxford, so giving parental responsibility mid GCSEs the two feathers, I grabbed the youngest but not so smallest member of Team Family and we sped off down to Blackwell’s to hear it.

And oh my golly, maybe I didn’t understand the set-up or failed to comprehend the very simple details, but there she was – Tessa Hadley AND Tracy Chevalier – about to take their seats.  Suppressing the urge to scream and fan-chant, we too took ours and from story one I was hooked and thinking well maybe it’s about time I read Jane Eyre.

That probably sounds seriously left field specifically at this point of my rantings…so to bring you up to speed.  The three stories read out, by three talented actors, are part of a collection edited by Tracy Chevalier and include twenty one tales penned by the Who’s Who of the literary world, inspired by Jane Eyre.

Reader, I Married Him’ is what you should be reading now…or at least purchasing to read, close to now.

We had the pleasure of hearing:
Reader, She Married Me by Salley Vickers
My Mother’s Wedding by Tessa Hadley
& Dorset Gap by Tracy Chevalier

So though I can’t give you the complete lowdown (be sure I will later), I can offer up this…you can have a super night when short stories are involved. Either you reading them or having someone do it for you, there is something so satisfying about a tale being told in under 4,000 words.  It’s like having a meal (with dessert), when it’s complete you feel satiated and content and know where to return for future servings of pleasure.

What’s further good news, events like the one I attended last night occur monthly, so why not place the 21 June in your diary now, under the heading Short Stories Aloud, and then try and restrain yourself from wishing the days go faster.

Two more grand things before I go.

  1. So I actually meet Tessa, in addition to her signing my copy of the collection after, for my friend Kate (thank you Kate, thank you Kate), introduced her to me after the first reading. Naturally, I couldn’t speak, but I smiled LOTS and wished that moment would last forever.
  2. And Sarah Franklin whom organises/leads/hosts/chairs the session was also fabulous, not just at her job, but it appears at pretty much everything. She’s really fun, interesting, lively and gets the best from her speakers and crowd. The kind of person you want at your party, actually all parties.