Sarah MacLachlan On:
The Spider in the Jar by Théodora Armstrong
Théodora Armstrong’s debut story collection, “Clear Skies, No Wind,100% Visibility”, startled, amazed, and delighted all of us at House of Anansi when we first read the manuscript submission. All of the stories in this book take the reader into the heart of domestic dramas, large and small, with an exacting and vivid prose style. No story shows her abilities more acutely than “The Spider in the Jar.” Written from the perspective of Henry, the middle child in a family of three boys, Armstrong paints the emotional world of a young boy eager for the attention and approval of his older brother and his older brother’s friends. As you become engrossed in the tale, you step into Henry’s shoes and somehow you know exactly what it is like to be Henry.You hold your breath as he brings himself — and all those around him — into perilous situations in his desperate desire for acceptance and approval. As novelist Steven Galloway (author of The Cellist of Sarajevo) said of Armstrong’s work,“The stories in this collection are a rare phenomenon, capable of taking the reader to places so familiar one forgets they’ve never been there. The writing is crisp, taut, and evocative, and each story has a separate pleasure to give.”
We really feel that Armstrong is a talent to be reckoned with and we eagerly anticipate what she’ll do next.