This month, we look at intimate relationships that happen later in life — older women finding love in unexpected and interesting ways. These stories avoid the usual stereotypes/tropes to show all the complexities & intensities of later-life relationships, including how society responds to them. The authors — Elizabeth Taylor, Toni Cade Bambara, Lucia Berlin, Amy Bloom, and Yiyun Li — cover a wide range of issues and themes in these stories and the women protagonists are, for the most part, strong-minded and reaching for the love (or lust) relationships they want despite what people around them say or do. We certainly need more such later-life love stories, especially stories with more diverse and unconventional relationships from all around the world. As Isaac Bashevis Singer had once said: "The novelists never told us that in love, as in other matters, the young are just beginners and that the art of loving matures with age and experience."
This month, my short stories column at PopMatters is all about the journey — by train, bus, airplane, car, even foot. And how, in that state of being neither here nor there, just about anything can happen. These five stories are also excellent examples of travel as a versatile literary device. The stories (free to read online) are from all over the world and by these fine writers: Asako Serizawa, Nanjil Nadan, Goli Taraghi, Stephen King, and John Cheever.
In her second short story collection, Waiting, Nighat Gandhi explores many of the same preoccupations that have dominated both her fiction and non-fiction thus far but with even more minute and interior details. [...] In this latest collection too, Gandhi’s women are trying to comprehend and address subjects and themes that are either taboo or fetishised. However, their voices are still repressed – questioning, rebelling, or negotiating inside their heads – as they themselves remain trapped in their worlds, waiting passively for something to change.