Not So Stories edited by David Thomas Moore
Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories was one of the first true children’s books in the English language, a timeless classic that continues to delight readers to this day. Beautiful, evocative and playful, the stories of “How the Whale Got His Throat” or “The First Letter Written” paint a magical, primal world. It is also deeply rooted in British colonialism. Kipling saw the Empire as a benign, civilizing force, and his writing can be troubling to modern readers. Not So Stories attempts to redress the balance, bringing together new and established writers of color from around the world to take the Just So Stories back; giving voices to cultures that were long deprived them.
I received an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
“Because every day of freedom is a small act of victory against those who would rob you of it.”
Not So Stories is a response to a book by Rudyard Kipling that I confess I have never read, but according to the blurb, it’s a book rooted in British colonialism. Even without knowing this information, it is clear that the stories in Not So Stories are all against the different aspects of colonialism, explotiation and racism. While I sometimes felt like I lacked context for the stories, I still enjoyed reading them.
I’m not going to write an individual review for every story, but I’m going to list my favourites from the collection:
queen by joseph e. cole (this is the one the quote I started with is from)
best beloved by wayne santos
saṃsāra by georgina kamsika
the cat who walked by herself by achala upendran
how the simurgh won her tail by ali nouraei
how the camel got her paid time off by paul krueger
My rating: 🐪🐪🐪🐪/5.