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book cover of Wild Cards

Wild Cards

An anthology of stories edited by

Wild Cards is the second Virago Anthology of new writing by women following the success of The Nerve last year. The 24 contributors--12 prose writers, 12 poets--were chosen from thousands of submissions and the book aims to represent "some of the best of new writing". Most contributors have been published before, in various small magazines. Most are writing with what the editors describe as the "broad cultural concerns of race, class, family, sex and sexuality" in mind.

Familiar issues, but some of these writers manage to introduce a sinister, or surreal, twist. Barbara Marshall's "Anniversary" tracks the familiar husband- baby-home into uncanny territory, while Abi Hughes- Edwards' "After Heaven: Mephistopheles' walking tour" makes devilish poetry from small towns: "their inland pig roasts and petty crime sprees / the sixties shop fronts / the violence behind the new UPVC". Kerry-Lee Powell's "Vulnerable Adults" and Anna Black's "Tick Tock" explore the worlds of comfortable couples, how easy it is to disturb them. The pressure of personal, sometimes painful, experience makes itself felt throughout: women as carers and mothers, prostitutes and abandoned wives, at home and at the hairdresser's (Fiona Ritchie Walker's witty "Just the usual?"). The writing is intelligent, more-than-competent, but--and this may be a disappointment--there are no real surprises here, no very strong sense of the new. --Vicky Lebeau


Used availability for Andrea Badenoch's Wild Cards

Paperback Editions

July 1999 : UK Paperback

Title: Wild Cards Vol 2 (Writing women)
Author(s): Debbie Taylor
ISBN: 1-86049-548-6 / 978-1-86049-548-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Virago
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA