FORGOTTEN BOOK: Wind Angels by Leigh Kennedy, 2011
This is the 117th in my series of Forgotten Books.
A long time ago Leigh Kennedy moved from Denver to Austin and quickly became part of the Austin writing scene producing some very memorable short stories. She later moved to England, married Christopher Priest and continued slowly producing more stories and two novels as well as a couple of children.
I was really pleased when I saw that PS Books in England had put together a nice grouping of her shorter stories and issued it. Being a small press it means that the author’s immediate friends and family were most likely those who bought the book. Or those poor OCD people, like myself, who have all the PS Books and keep buying them because they have them all and they do not want to break up the set.
I am not quite that bad. I do not have them all, just most of them. I can quit buying anytime I want. The problem is, they do good work and the books are excellent.
So, to this one. There are 16 stories and I had only previously read two of them, and they were long enough ago that they might as well have been new to me. First off, there is not a turkey in the book. Every story is worthwhile and you will enjoy them. A lot.
But I will talk about my favorites in here. I really liked the first story “Memories of Egypt” about a young woman who has been told by a fortune teller that she will meet the man of her dreams and she does. He seems so familiar yet they cannot find any common friends or locales where they might have met. It is love at first sight and a nice story. I also like “Helen, Whose Face Launched Twenty-Eight Conestoga Hovercraft” , a story I had read in Universe 12 nearly 30 years ago where Art, Civilization, Progress, and Tourism all sort of combine into a gentle form of class warfare. Disarmingly excellent.
The collaboration with Howard Waldrop on “One Horse Town” combines some of the best of both their styles as two parallel stories involving Homer and Heinrich Schliemann explore Troy and its myths and legends several thousand years apart. “Golden Swan” deals with the appearance of a child in a time where people live virtually forever and have many different careers throughout the years. Our protagonist has been a circus owner/promoter who is now a prison guard watching one of the few people destined to die because they are not receiving life extensions. So she encounters a child and an old person in a society where neither exists. “Vida” is based on a George Harrison song, sort of, and he has a small cameo in it.
I also liked “Jack in English” with an alien of some form trying to fit into English society. And “The Remembrance of Lindy” was also quite good.
They are all good. You should own this title. It is available directly from the publisher or through Amazon and the like. Support the small press and the artists making the short story a viable form.
Series organizer Patti Abbott hosts more Friday Forgotten Book reviews at her own blog, and posts a complete list of participating blogs.