The Welcome Centre from Northern Irish writer Peter Hollywood features an eclectic selection of 15 short stories, many of them packed with literary references and allusions – from familiar book titles and author names to actual cameos by characters from other works. He even gives us a full-blown noir fiction follow-up to The Great Gatsby, which includes an appearance by Dashiell Hammett’s boozy husband and wife crimebusters, Nick and Nora Charles, just for good measure. ‘The Late Gatz’ finds dogged Chicago cop O’Connor visiting Long Island to sift through the messy and murky aftermath of the violent conclusion to F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic 1920s-set tale. Another story in the book, the semi-autobiographical ‘Snow & Avocados’, is set in the more familiar geography of modern day south Belfast and focuses on how a writer can be inspired by something as simple as an overheard word or phrase, which then unexpectedly becomes ‘kindling’ for a sudden explosion of joyous creativity. Peter Hollywood is an accomplished and insightful writer with a particular skill for vividly evoking both unexpected outer worlds and inner landscapes. These sophisticated stories exhibit a perceptive psychological insight and an enviable elegance of expression.
Distributed for Arlen House
5 x 8, 126 pages