- ASIN: TBA
- Publisher: Eastover Press
- Release Date: June 2022
- Language: English
- Page Length: 212 pages
- Genre: Literary Fiction
The BookViral Review:
Extraordinarily skilled at prose compression, Ha writes short stories where a sentence often does the work of a page. A trait that was clearly evident in his novel The Demon Who Peddled Longing and is once more manifest in All the Rivers Flow into the Sea & Other Stories.
Short stories are literature’s finest gift. In the best ones, nothing is needless, their prose is sharp and vivid with nowhere to hide. There’s no space for excess or digression and readers should be under no doubt that Ha is among the best short story writers you will ever read as he brings his particular brand of magic and otherness to the written word.
It is easy to wax lyrical on a short story collection as good as this but one of the most impressive elements of Ha’s stories is how they convey cultural identity, loss and trauma through absolutely controlled prose. And there is impressive minimalism at work through the entire collection with Ha demonstrating an enviable ability to create a destabilizing atmosphere without destabilizing the text.
Writers of Ha’s quality do not run away from reality. They embrace it in all its glory and ugliness and Ha has too much integrity to indulge in escapist flights of fancy. He writes about situations in which his subjects, both men and women, are often put in situations fraught with uncertainty and threat, but in which they have greater agency than they realize as love and compassion prevails. On this level, Ha gives us a masterclass in building tension but realist in detail in the way it calibrates mystery and anxiety whilst full of the echoes of what might have been.
Leaving us with images that linger in our thoughts Ha’s All the Rivers Flow into the Sea & Other Stories is simply superb and an unreservedly recommended five stars read!