Susan Midalia's Review
‘Evocative and engaging, Greater City Shadows shows how the short story form, in the hands of a skilful writer, can offer profound insights into people’s inner and outer lives.’
This new short story collection is the third book by award-winning West Australian writer Laurie Steed. The stories are variously melancholy, hopeful, tender and wryly humorous, and typically focused on the self-doubt and longings of a range of complex characters looking for love, regretting the failure of love, reflecting on the mystifying nature of love.
Just as F. Scott Fitzgerald was the voice of a lost generation, Steed’s characters are often lonely and existentially adrift; but unlike the cynicism of Fitzgerald’s fiction, Greater City Shadows affirms the values of compassion and friendship, particularly between men. The language is crisp, the dialogue minimalist but evocative, and the craft subtly impressive. Steed also offers wonderful musical references that echo his characters’ anxieties and desires. This collection reminds us that in the hands of a skilful writer, short stories can offer profound insights into people’s inner and outer lives.
‘Timely, tender and true, Greater City Shadows is a superb collection of stories.‘ — Ryan O’Neill
A man treads water in the Swan River, hoping to bring his friend back to shore. Three siblings gaze skyward seeking a comet among the stars. A mother and daughter grapple with their fraught relationship and an inappropriate birthday cake. Bushfires sweep a Perth suburb while a woman, still burnt from a previous relationship, lessens the divide between an individual and their community.
In Greater City Shadows, Laurie Steed shines a light on the tremendous complexity and beauty of everyday relationships. From unrequited first love and burnt flames of the past to early parenthood stresses and tense friendships. These short stories are vulnerable and tender — a captivating collection reminding us that to be connected is to be human. — Publishers Review