Somewhere Else, or Even Here is an excellent debut collection. Vanessa Gebbie describes Ashworth's stories as 'shooting stars - brilliant, sparkling scratches against the night,' while Maggie Gee writes that they are, 'Dark, witty, delicious stories with flashes of terror and tenderness.' The collection opens with 'Sometimes Gulls Kill Other Gulls,' a haunting and terrifying story about an encounter between a boy and a girl on a beach (it was longlisted in the 2011 Fish Short Story Prize and the 2011 Short Fiction Competition). The dialogue is authentic and funny, contrasting with the underlying and escalating feeling of menace. 'Sometimes Gulls Kill Other Gulls' is a story that compels the reader to race to the end, only to go back to the beginning to savour the build-up again. I enjoyed every story in this collection, particularly 'Coconut Shy,' a story laced with desire, embarrassment and innuendo, and 'Rings of Saturn' (read it here) in which a journalist visits a couple who are about to celebrate their golden anniversary and the gaps between the rings of Saturn become a metaphor for holes in memory.
Read A.J Ashworth's reflections on the writing process here.
A.J Ashworth's blog.
Read A.J Ashworth's 'Bone Fire' at The Front View.