In the early days, her Comedy Prawn list was easy – Prawn Free, The Prawn Supremacy, Breaking Prawn – but the more you came back to it, the harder the game became. The Prawn Birds only arrived with an effort and sometimes you might break the rules – Badly Prawn Boy, for instance, or “The Boy With The Prawn In His Side”.
This collection is a box of hand-printed short stories, published by Like This Press in 2013. Inside the box, each story is published in its own pamphlet, each with a cover illustration by the artist Hannah Dickinson. Most of the stories here, which includes flash and tweet-length fiction, has been published previously, in a range of literary magazines: Spilling Ink Review, Word Gumbo, The Rusty Nail, Black Market Review, The Pygmy Giant, and Thumbnail. Three of them were also previously published as Ether Books Quick Reads.
The fiction features hapless men, bemused women, a cat, two dogs, a parrot and coffee (or sometimes tea). Here, the real and the surreal are intertwined: a librarian’s life becomes a film, a crowd of naked people gather for a photoshoot, a tram journeys to the end of the line.
Graham’s stories happen next door, to that guy round the corner, the girl you see on a bike everyday. And then, having drawn you in with the world of the everyday, they start to splinter, to open up to the sense of alternate reality. If you’re anything like me, you’ll read the opening stories, then go back to read them again, and then start to take more notice of the black and white title illustrations for the pleasure of noticing when they slip into the narrative, giving the words an extra twist. Then go back and read them again, and see how much more you will notice.
When You Were A Mod, I was A Rocker was published by Like This Press in 2013