A Lancaster University professor’s new book tells a series of intriguing stories set against a variety of fascinating locations from England to Kurdistan. Professor Graham Mort’s ‘Like Fado and Other Stories’ comprises 13 stories, including a longer novella-style piece entitled ‘Whitethorn’.
The stories are set in the north-west of England, Italy, Kurdistan, France, Spain, Portugal and South Africa. They are not formally linked, though music forms a strong theme. Professor Mort has previously published a number of poetry collections and the stories in this new book are underpinned by the structural effects of poetry, culminating in emotional realisations rather than twists of plot.
“They are characterised by a sense of narrative uncertainty compounded by speculation and half-truths as characters stumble into remembered histories and forgotten futures,” explains Professor Mort.
“In a sense, they’re all ghost stories; or the storylines themselves are ghosts.”
The melancholy and often haunting Portuguese musical form of fado, infused with a sense of sadness, lost love and nostalgia, features in the title story and sets the mood for many others. Professor Mort, who lives in North Yorkshire, is Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing and Transcultural Literature at Lancaster University and an Extraordinary Professor at the University of the Western Cape.
He has established a reputation as a poet and short story writer of literary acclaim and has led writing projects across sub-Sahara Africa and in Kurdistan whilst publishing ten books of poetry and two collections of short fiction. Awards include a major Eric Gregory Award, Cheltenham and Arvon poetry prizes, and the Edge Hill and Bridport prizes for short fiction.
Source: Lancaster University