Empty Sky | Review

Ch’aska Cuba De Reed

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Short story anthologies can be hard to read. The 2020 UTS Writers’ Anthology Empty Sky is not. Despite these stories being written in 2019, before this apocalyptic present known as 2020, each piece has cultivated its own relevance and importance due to both the talent of all the authors involved and the team behind the curation of a notably cohesive collection. More importantly, it also provides a form of escape, the way a good book should.

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Each story throughout the anthology provides a separate, but distinct process of discovery. Discovery of loss, discovery of hearing, discovery of bad love, good love, robot love, Helen Garner love. And for the reader, there is an added process of discovery – discovery of form. Empty Sky is composed of scripts, non-fiction, personal essays, and the expected short story. Everywhere you look, a new idea emerges, distinguished and wholly developed.

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I have some recommendations on how best to read this anthology. Anthologies are made to be enjoyed messily;

  • Read it all and read it out of order
  • Turn to a random page and indulge
  • Re-read with vigour
  • Draw your own themes (preferably with red thread and a corkboard)
  • Use the author bios to meet each one individually and with care

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You can find the anthology here.