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5 stars for Why are you here? : Short Stories by @radhikaiyer307 @CastlesPress #womensfiction

Title: Why are you here? : Short Stories

Author: Radhika Iyer

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Women’s Short Stories

Book Blurb:

Introducing Radhika Iyer’s debut collection, Why are you here? Twelve explosive short stories present twelve provoking female narratives. Iyer’s unique style is quirky yet powerful, as she illustrates a sense of otherness, as an immigrant and as a woman of colour. Iyer explores the struggle of being a woman in different cultures, as the stories take us from the harrowing results of a family scandal in Malaysia, to an internal cultural identity struggle in Dubai, to an abusive marriage amplified by the lockdown in Ireland. This collection is ultimately about the female experience, and being different culturally, and in terms of shape and size.

The women of these stories face their internal and external battles, and as we follow their journeys, we come face to face with the struggle and the strength of women.

My Review:

A brilliantly written book that reads more like a memoir. You can really feel the realism in each story. This book will be empowering to women who can garner the key messages from each story. The stories are well done and shine a light on life today.

Here are some thoughts generated from reading the individual stories...

Are there levels of sympathy for abused women? Can people care more if they are sober and polite? What does that say about society? What does that say about this woman in this story?

A harsh and brutal tale of the suffering of an innocent. Well written and shows trauma can come from home and strangers.

A sadly very true example of what happened to seemingly a lot during the lockdown. If women could learn anything from here, it is leave. Leave. Leave. Just because you married someone doesn't mean you must stay with the one who abuses you.

A tale of women forced to marry. One would think a just world would charge parents who do that with assault and commit them to life imprisonment.

A nightmare that has been a reality for far too many women. One thing to remember if faced with this...a vicious older woman will keep getting older until she can't defend herself.

Even though it's 2021, women must try to never travel alone in Dubai.

The moral here is the courage of your convictions. You generally choose to be where you are for good reasons so embrace them. An aside, one of this reader's key points regularly: just because you are related to someone that doesn't mean you have to like them or spend any time with them.

It will interest the reader to consider what each story means specifically to themselves.

Anyone who has lived through this pandemic needs to read this book. Any fan of women fiction needs to read this book. A terrific little collection of fiction that holds a lot of truth inside.

My Rating: 5 stars

Buy it Now:

Author Biography and Links:

Radhika Iyer was born in Malaysia to migrant Indian parents. Her stories mainly explore themes of identity struggle, acceptance, and domestic violence. In 2020; an excerpt of Radhika’s journal piece was aired on RTE Radio 1’s Arena show, an excerpt of an article she wrote about working and living in Ireland was featured in the Irish Times, and a reflective piece was featured as part of the Keywords Podcast 5:

Common Ground on RTE Radio1Extra and went on to be nominated for Best Short Feature in the 2020

IMRO Radio Awards. The short story, Why are you Here? was on the Cranked Anvil shortlist in late 2020.

Radhika currently lives in and is trying to fit into Dundalk, Ireland.

Instagram: @radhika_307

Twitter: radhikaiyer307

Publisher Info:

Castles in the Air Press is a brand new, independent, boutique press. It was launched Summer 2020 and is completely female-owned and run. We aim to publish unconventional stories and we are dedicated to finding unique and diverse Irish authors.

Instagram: @castlespress

Twitter: @castlespress

Reviewed by: Mr. N

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