Saturday, 26 July 2008


Finally! After what seems an age, this debut collection from a most intriguing writer has its own webpage, we can see the cover, read the blurb.

I was sitting with the author Tania Hershman in Anam Cara Writers' and Artist's Retreat in Ireland when the email came through to say that Salt wanted to publish this book... and I remember the joy of that moment. That was last year, June, I think...

Due out on September 1st 2008 now, (which will make this one eligible for the Frank O'Connor award next year) The White Road and Other Stories contains several stories I know well. And others I don't.

What makes Tania such an interesting writer is her 'take ' on things. We chimed straight away when we 'met' in cyberspace, she having taken First Prize in a flash fiction comp, and me trailing in second... I emailed her to say how much I loved her winning story. ('Plaits'... included in this collection)

So here you go. Here are the blurb, and Tania's bio from the web page. And a mug shot, for good measure!

Main description: What links a café in Antarctica, a factory for producing electronic tracking tags and a casino where gamblers can wager their shoes? They're among the multiple venues where award-winning writer Tania Hershman sets her unique tales in this spellbinding debut collection.

Fleeing from tragedy, a bereaved mother opens a cafe on the road to the South Pole. A town which has always suffered extreme cold enjoys sudden warmth. A stranger starts plaiting a young woman's hair. A rabbi comes face to face with an angel in a car park. An elderly woman explains to her young carer what pregnancy used to mean before science took over. A middle-aged housewife overcomes a fear of technology to save her best friend. A desperate childless woman resorts to extreme measures to adopt. A young man's potential is instantly snuffed out by Nature's whims. A lonely widow bakes cakes in the shape of test tubes and DNA.

A number of these stories are inspired by articles from science magazines, taking fact as their starting points and wondering what might happen if . . .? In these surreal, lyrical stories, many of which are only a few pages long, Tania Hershman allows her imagination free reign, as her characters navigate through love, death, friendship, spirituality, mental illness and the havoc wreaked by the weather.

Author Bio: Tania Hershman was born in London and in 1994 moved to Jerusalem, where she now lives with her partner. She is a former science journalist and her award-winning short stories combine her two loves: fiction and science. Many of Tania Hershman’s stories, which have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in print and online, are inspired by articles from popular science magazines. In November 2007, she founded The Short Review, a unique website dedicated to reviewing short story collections, which attracts several hundred visitors a week.


Concerned about the environmental impact of her book, Tania is partnering with Eco-Libris, who will plant a tree for every copy. For further information, visit Tania’s website:


Tania Hershman said...

Thank you, Vanessa, what a lovely blog post! Just a small note: the book is out on Sept 1st. Very excited!

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Me too, all excited! I want a signed copy immediately! (Changing date in post...)

Nik's Blog said...

I can't wait for this either. Big Tania fan.