Cynthia Flood's The English Stories offers a series of twelve linked fictions detailing the story of Amanda Ellis, a young Canadian girl who goes with her parents to England “for a year that stretched into two,” and her life at St. Mildred's school. Unlike many linked story collections which come to mind, however — Alice Munro's Lives of Girls and Women and Sharon English's Uncomfortably Numb are among two of the best — Flood's suite is not limited to first person narration by the heroine; rather, Flood chooses to spice this collection with a wide range of perspectives and voices, The result is an intricate collage which gives a sense of English life as viewed by an outsider during the 1950s, as the country tries to dust itself off in both the aftermath of the Second World War and the collapse of the British Empire. The English Stories is an assured and mature collection by one of the best short story writers to come out of Canada, pairing striking emotional depth with tremendous technical skill.
About the author
Cynthia Flood’s stories have won numerous awards, including The Journey Prize and National Magazine awards, and have been widely anthologized. Her novel Making a Stone of the Heart was nominated for the City of Vancouver Book Prize in 2002. She is the author of the acclaimed short story collections The Animals in Their Elements (1987) and My Father Took a Cake to France (1992). She lives on Vancouver’s East side.