• Anglophone Literature of South Africa

      Blair, Peter; University of Chester
      An analysis of key texts and critical debates in the literary history of Anglophone writing in South Africa.
    • "As if on a magic carpet": An Interview with Vanessa Gebbie

      Blair, Peter; Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Intellect, 2014-10-01)
      An interview with one of the UK's leading flash-fiction and short-story writers.
    • Editorial and Contents

      Blair, Peter; Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Peter Blair and Ashley Chantler, 2017-10-01)
      Editorial and Contents.
    • Editorial and Contents of Flash Fiction Magazine (11.2)

      Blair, Peter; Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (University of Chester, 2021-10-01)
      Editorial and Contents.
    • Experience’s Potential and Potential Experiences: Subjectivity, Alterity, and Futurity in the Late-Apartheid Novels of Nadine Gordimer

      Blair, Peter; University of Chester (Société d'Étude des Pays du Commonwealth / Society for the Study of Commonwealth Countries, 2019-06-30)
      This article begins by scrutinizing divergent critical views of Gordimer’s subject position and authorial agency, which locate her variously on a spectrum ranging from liberal-humanist autonomy to historical-materialist determinism. It then considers how Gordimer’s nonfiction articulates a parallel ambivalence about the reach of the writer’s imagination (and its dependence on “the potential of his own experience”), particularly regarding the ethics and feasibility of creating racially “other” characters. Its main part reads July’s People (1981), in relation to other Gordimer novels, as a similarly self-reflexive engagement with subjectivity and alterity: the otherness of the imagined future (a “potential experience”) facilitates fresh socio-political perspectives, even as the novel expresses philosophical scepticism about such imaginative extrapolation and its textual representation. The article concludes with a new reading of the novel’s “open” ending as a projection of this epistemological conflict.
    • Flash Fiction

      Blair, Peter; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2014)
      This article, which appears in the bestselling guide to publishing and the media, introduces the short-short story, most commonly known as 'flash fiction'. It outlines the historical rise of the flash, considers the defining characteristics of the form, and offers advice on writing flash fiction and getting it published. It includes an example of flash fiction and a structured list of suggestions for further primary and secondary reading.
    • Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, 10.1 (Apr. 2017)

      Blair, Peter; Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Peter Blair and Ashley Chantler, 2017-04-01)
      Editorial.
    • Flash: The international short-short story magazine, 7.2 (October 2014)

      Blair, Peter; Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (University of Chester, 2014-10)
      This issue features new stories from Australia, Austria, Britain, Canada, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, and the USA. We are particularly pleased to open with pieces by two distinguished European writers, in luminous translations: two ‘zkv’s (‘zeer korte verhalen’ [very short stories]) by A. L. Snijders, who coined the term, translated from the Dutch by Man Booker International winner Lydia Davis; and three pieces from Austrian writer Josef Winkler’s When the Time Comes (2013), translated by Adrian West, originally published in German as Wenn es soweit ist – Erzählung (1998). Wonderful renderings by West of Winkler also appeared in Flash, 6.1. Davis’s impressive Collected Stories (2009) was featured in the ‘Flash Presents’ section of 6.2; her latest collection, Can’t and Won’t, is enthusiastically reviewed in this issue by Robert Shapard, editor of influential flash and sudden-fiction anthologies. This issue’s ‘Flash Presents’ contains four stories by Virginia Woolf: ‘A Haunted House’, ‘Monday or Tuesday’, ‘Blue & Green’, and ‘In the Orchard’. These are followed by our fourth ‘Flash Essay’. In ‘“Splinters & mosaics”: Virginia Woolf’s Flash Fictions’, Kathryn Simpson argues that Woolf’s experimental flashes provide insight into her emergence as a major modernist novelist and her enduring preoccupations. ‘Flash Reviews’ examines two other single-author books and two anthologies. Laurie Champion is entertained by Lucy Corin’s One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses, a collection of short and short-short stories, while Christine Simon is intrigued by Will Eaves’s The Absent Therapist, a novel in flashes. Robert Scotellaro enjoys Tara Laskowski’s selection from ten years of the SmokeLong Quarterly, while Ian Seed embraces the longer perspective of Alan Ziegler’s Short, which ranges over five centuries of brief prose. Each review is accompanied by a sample story. Laskowski’s anthology is represented by Jeff Landon’s ‘Five Fat Men in a Hot Tub’, Ziegler’s by Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Artist’. Copies of the magazine are available through the magazine’s website: http://www.chester.ac.uk/flash.magazine
    • Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, 8.1 (April 2015)

      Blair, Peter; Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Peter Blair and Ashley Chantler, 2015-04)
      The fourteenth issue of Flash, which features new stories from Botswana, Britain, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Japan, South Africa, Sweden, and the USA. We are pleased to open with four pieces by David Swann, whose Stronger Faster Shorter: Flash Fictions launched our new venture, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Press. For more information about the collection and the Press, please visit Flash’s website. This issue also includes the 2015 winner of the UK’s National Flash Fiction Youth Competition, ‘Hide and Seek’ by Helen Gurr, a talented A-level student at Wirral Grammar School for Girls. The competition was organized by Flash and the Department of English, University of Chester; it was judged by the editors and leading flash author Vanessa Gebbie. ‘Flash Presents’ contains four pieces – ‘The Interview’, ‘The Goat Tetherer Attempts to Make History’, ‘The Shortage at the Petting Zoo’, and ‘Storage’ – from Nick Parker’s acclaimed debut collection The Exploding Boy and Other Tiny Tales (2011). In the ‘Flash Essay’ section, Charlotte Rich connects ‘Kate Chopin’s Very Short Stories’ to the late-nineteenth-century American author’s longer work. Alongside the essay, ‘A Very Fine Fiddle’ is reprinted; in Flash, 7.1, you can read ‘A Harbinger’, ‘Doctor Chevalier’s Lie’, ‘Old Aunt Peggy’, and ‘Ripe Figs’. ‘Flash Reviews’ assesses a rich diversity of texts: three chapbooks (Nuala Ní Chonchúir’s Of Dublin and Other Fictions, William Todd Seabrook’s The Imagination of Lewis Carroll, and Shellie Zacharia’s Not Everything Lovely and Strange Is a Dream); three longer collections (Stuart Dybek’s Ecstatic Cahoots, James Robertson’s 365, and Avital Gad-Cykman’s Life In, Life Out); and a compendium of five novellas-in-flash with accompanying craft essays (My Very End of the Universe, by Tiff Holland, Meg Pokrass, Aaron Teel, Margaret Patton Chapman, and Chris Bower). Copies of the magazine are available through the magazine’s website: http://www.chester.ac.uk/flash.magazine
    • Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, 8.2 (October 2015)

      Blair, Peter; Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Peter Blair and Ashley Chantler, 2015-10)
      The fifteenth issue of Flash, which features new stories from Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Kenya, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, and the USA. This issue’s ‘Flash Presents’ contains four haunting and humorous pieces – ‘City’, ‘Sale’, ‘Chances’, and ‘The Test’ – from Ian Seed’s mesmerizing Makers of Empty Dreams (2014). (For a review of Seed’s Threadbare Fables (2012), see Flash, 6.1.) ‘Flash Reviews’ opens with Brian Baker’s thoughtful evaluation of a major new anthology, Flash Fiction International, edited by flash luminaries James Thomas, Robert Shapard, and Christopher Merrill. Alyce Cook welcomes Silvina Ocampo’s Thus Were Their Faces, a retrospective selection of stories in translation from an important Argentine writer often overlooked abroad. Holly Howitt, Eileen J. Pollard, and Paul McDonald consider new collections from the USA: Grant Faulkner’s Fissures, Karen Stefano’s The Secret Games of Words, and Paul Beckman’s Peek. Sarah Taylor enjoys Short Christmas Stories, a children’s stocking filler by Britain’s Maggie Pearson. (Pearson’s Short and Shocking! (2002), also for children, was showcased in ‘Flash Presents’ in Flash, 6.1.) Complementing Howitt’s review of Faulkner’s 100-word stories, Beret Olsen assesses Michael A. Kechula’s Micro Fiction, a guide to crafting the drabble. The editors are delighted to announce the publication of Meg Tuite’s Lined Up Like Scars: Flash Fictions. Sassy and incisive, tender yet scalpel-sharp, Lined Up Like Scars is the second in a series of chapbooks published by Flash: The International Short-Short Story Press. It follows our inaugural publication, David Swann’s Stronger Faster Shorter. New stories by both authors appear in this issue. We are also pleased to announce the launch of the International Flash Fiction Association (IFFA). For information about Lined Up Like Scars and the IFFA, please see the ‘Advertisements’ section. To order Press publications or to join the IFFA, please visit our website. Copies of the issue are available through the magazine’s website: http://www.chester.ac.uk/flash.magazine
    • Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, 9.1 (April 2016)

      Blair, Peter; Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Peter Blair and Ashley Chantler, 2016-04)
      The sixteenth issue of Flash, which features new stories from Argentina, Britain, France, Hungary, and the USA, and boasts many of the world’s leading flash-fiction authors. It also includes the 2016 winner of the UK’s National Flash Fiction Youth Competition, ‘Silver Linings’ by Charlotte Rhodes, a talented A-level student at Winstanley College, Wigan. The competition was organized by Flash and the Department of English, University of Chester; it was judged by the editors and leading flash author and critic Holly Howitt. We are honoured to publish a final piece by the late Ihab Hassan (1925–2015), a brilliant literary critic and flash-fiction author. (Other stories by Hassan appeared in Flash, 5.2, 6.1, 6.2, and 7.2.) In ‘Flash Reviews’, Christine Simon admires the ‘philosophical weight’ of the flashes in influential Brazilian author Clarice Lispector’s first collected short stories in English translation. Tony Williams enjoys Robert Scotellaro’s What We Know So Far, while Alex Tankard reflects on how what she knows affects her reception of Rosie Forrest’s Ghost Box Evolution in Cadillac, Michigan. Other reviewers feast their eyes on two beautifully illustrated collections: Caroline Jones is charmed by Vanessa Gebbie’s Ed’s Wife and Other Creatures, illustrated by Lynn Roberts; and Jude Piesse explores the story wood created by Nik Perring’s Beautiful Trees, illustrated by Miranda Sofroniou. Ian Seed meanwhile scrutinizes the flashes and craft essays in Family Resemblance: An Anthology and Exploration of 8 Hybrid Genres, edited by Marcela Sulak and Jacqueline Kolosov. Copies of the issue are available through the magazine’s website: http://www.chester.ac.uk/flash.magazine
    • Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, 9.2 (Oct. 2016)

      Blair, Peter; Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Peter Blair and Ashley Chantler, 2016-10-01)
      Editorial.
    • Funny Bone: Flashing for Comic Relief

      Blair, Peter; Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Flash: The International Short-Short Story Press, 2017-03-24)
      60 authors; 60 stories (no more than 360 words); profits to Comic Relief.
    • Gordimer, Nadine

      Blair, Peter; University of Chester (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016-01-25)
      A prolific South African novelist, short-story writer, and essayist, Nadine Gordimer (1923–2014) is known for her opposition to apartheid and censorship. Her many honours include the Booker Prize (1974) and the Nobel Prize for Literature (1991). This article outlines Gordimer’s writing career in relation to the form of “internal colonialism” known as apartheid, and to the postcolonial condition of South Africa after apartheid. It describes how Gordimer’s fiction, which combines critical realism with late-modernist experimentation, articulates three phases: “liberal”, “radical”, and “post-apartheid”.
    • "How was she to have known ... ": Interpreting Nadine Gordimer

      Blair, Peter; Chester College of Higher Education (University of Manchester, 2002-01)
      ManuScript
    • Hyper-compressions: The rise of flash fiction in “post-transitional” South Africa

      Blair, Peter; University of Chester (SAGE Publications, 2018-07-16)
      This article begins with a survey of flash fiction in “post-transitional” South Africa, which it relates to the nation’s post-apartheid canon of short stories and short-short stories, to the international rise of flash fiction and “sudden fiction”, and to the historical particularities of South Africa’s “post-transition”. It then undertakes close readings of three flash fictions republished in the article, each less than 450 words: Tony Eprile’s “The interpreter for the tribunal” (2007), which evokes the psychological and ethical complexities, and long-term ramifications, of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Michael Cawood Green’s “Music for a new society” (2008), a carjacking story that invokes discourses about violent crime and the “‘new’ South Africa”; and Stacy Hardy’s “Kisula” (2015), which maps the psychogeography of cross-racial sex and transnational identity-formation in an evolving urban environment. The article argues that these exemplary flashes are “hyper-compressions”, in that they compress and develop complex themes with a long literary history and a wide contemporary currency. It therefore contends that flash fiction of South Africa’s post-transition should be recognized as having literary-historical significance, not just as an inherently metonymic form that reflects, and alludes to, a broader literary culture, but as a genre in its own right.
    • The liberal tradition in fiction

      Blair, Peter; University of Chester (Cambridge University Press, 2012-01-12)
      This chapter in the landmark Cambridge History of South African Literature offers a comprehensive discussion of the 'liberal-concerned' tradition in South African fiction, from the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century. It comprises five main parts: 'Liberalism in politics and civil society'; 'Classic liberal fiction, 1883-1948'; 'Liberal fiction during apartheid, 1948-70'; 'Post-liberal fiction during apartheid, 1970-90'; '(Post-)liberal fiction after apartheid'.
    • Liberalism

      Blair, Peter; University of Chester (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016-01-25)
      A political philosophy that emerged from the Enlightenment, liberalism has a complex relationship with democracy, colonialism, postcolonialism, globalization, and literature. Democracy has been shaped by a tension between “classical liberalism”, which prioritizes liberty, and “modern liberalism”, which emphasizes equality. Liberalism also moulded the informal empire of free trade, and the “liberal imperialism” that devised a “civilizing mission” to justify formal empire. The development of liberalism has been vital in the anglophone settler colonies, particularly the USA; often, especially in South Africa, it has been focused on racial justice. The neo-liberalism that emerged in the late twentieth century advocates the globalization of unfettered capitalism and personal liberty. Many postcolonialists consider neo-liberalism a reprise of liberal imperialism, with “human rights” replacing the “civilizing mission” as a cultural-imperialist pretext for economic exploitation.
    • Lined Up Like Scars: Flash Fictions

      Blair, Peter; Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Flash: The International Short-Short Story Press, 2015-05-02)
      Sassy and incisive, tender yet scalpel-sharp, the ten short tales in Lined Up Like Scars cut to the quick of modern life, dissecting the dysfunctional dynamics of an American family with a tragic secret at its heart. Meg Tuite traces girlhood, young womanhood, and the jealous loyalties of sisterhood through a series of ‘magpie moments’ that are often darkly funny – featuring inedible meatloaf, sloughed skin, mysterious boy-bodies, insurgent underwear, speed-dating with attitude, the street-stomping antics of a wannabe band, and an unnerving collector of American Girl dolls. But the comic coping strategies of children (licking walls, ingesting gym socks, humping stuffed animals) have chronic counterparts in those of adults (alcoholism, prescription drugs). And in the final story, an ageing father reveals a truth that his daughters will forever conceal behind Facebook façades.
    • Nothing to Worry About: Flash Fictions

      Gebbie, Vanessa; Blair, Peter; Chantler, Ashley; N/A (Flash: The International Short-Short Story Press, 2018-06-14)
      Welcome to the strange, fertile world of Vanessa Gebbie’s imagination in this collection of irreal flash fictions, in which little makes sense and yet everything does. A sea lion learns to fly. A man wakes to find his head is triangular. Babies talk. Sextants grow inside a man’s chest. Bella’s iron tablets work rather too well. And Daphne grows bonsai in a plethora of odd places. After all, the world keeps turning, and people occasionally do strange things – but then, that’s life, and life is nothing to worry about … Or is it?