Today’s recommendation I discovered in the spring of 2015. Water Street was one of the first few short story collections I had read in a long time that I thoroughly enjoyed. Fourteen connected short stories set in Stanford, Kentucky in the black community. I was amazed to see how well Wilkinson linked each character and unveiled their secrets. Water Street has that southern literary flair that I love to read. The style of writing is through short narratives and monologues. You’re probably thinking that this makes the short stories feel unfinished but in fact they are full of impressions and feelings that are familiar.
Crystal Wilkinson is a wonderful writer who develops her stories through her characters. She doesn’t need an excess of pages to make the reader understand something. I envy her capacity to shape the story with the minimum means. It’s a gift in writing. I strongly urge you to check out this author who should be praised more. I also recommend three of her other works that I enjoyed just as much as Water Street, Blackberries, Blackberries (short story collection), The Birds of Opulence (short novel), and Holler (short story).
I recommend Water Street to readers who enjoy short story collections, African-American literature, and southern literature. Check out Wilkinson in the video below talking about her writing and where her inspiration comes from. She has quite the personality and you should follow her over on Instagram at crystalwilki.
On Water Street, every person has at least two stories to tell. One story that the light of day shines on and the other that lives only in the pitch black of night, the kind of story that a person carries beneath their breastbones for safekeeping. WATER STREET examines the secret lives of neighbours and friends who live on Water Street in a small town in Kentucky. Assured and intimate, dealing with love, loss, truth and tragedy, Wilkinson weaves us in and out of the lives of Water Street’s inhabitants.
Water Street – Crystal Wilkinson
Publisher: Toby Press
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
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3 Replies to “24 Books to Christmas – Day 16”
“Water Street,” and “Blackberries, Blackberries” both became instant favorites after I took class with Crystal at the Antioch Writer’s Workshop awhile ago. Brought me back to short stories after a long absence.
You’re so lucky to have been able to take a writing class with her. I’m jeally!!
Hi Didi – I read The Birds of Opulence a while back, and knew that Crystal Wilkinson was a writer of talents, yet I didn’t immediately seek out her other works. I think I will try WATER STREET. I enjoyed hearing her talk about the haunts and curiosities she has pursued creatively; it was a great springboard for her talk – but also for any one of us to think about fo ourselves. Thank you for writing about writers and books deserving of more attention!
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