urdustan           I have known of Sabina England for many years now and have followed her career and the trajectory of her artistic endeavors over that time.  From short films to live performances, the occasional cartoon, I have always been surprised at the scope and depth of her abilities and never disappointed.  When I learned that she was publishing an anthology of her fiction works I was immediately intrigued by the opportunity to sample yet another of her creative projects.

"Urdustan" is the title of a collection of short stories that spans several topics, from love and rejection, to Hassidic Jews and South Asian vampires.  I have to admit I was a bit taken aback by the breadth of the subject matter, but after the second story any misgivings I had were immediately put to rest.  England is not a genre writer and it shows.  Vampires or no, every story contained in this collection is a story about human-ness.  This is something that many writers, particularly genre writers, seem to have lost.

      The writing is unpretentious and the dialogue is honest and emotionally charged without being melodramatic which I found to be fresh and easy to read.  England manages to impart settings and situations that are equally charged without making them the exclusive focal point of the stories.  Englands mastery of pace and description are particularly impressive especially when you consider this is an inaugural effort.  The descriptive elements, despite being minimal (as compared to say Cormac McCarthy), were precisely and expertly placed allowing for immersion into the stories without having to wade through pages of text before arriving at what the author wanted to say.  Most of all it is impossible to ignore the obvious fact that so much of the work is grounded in Ms. England's own experiences and emotional life.  It is a rare insight into the mind of an author through their works, without having to penetrate the countless layers and veneers and overly complex storylines to do so.  It is like reading a book with the author in the room with you.

      As expected Ms. England, has delivered a body of work that was entertaining and thoughtful.  It was a pleasure to read and my only complaint about this collection is that there isn't more of it.  I look forward to reading her future works.  I recommend this book to anyone looking for something new and refreshing to read.  If you are looking to feel something and relate to characters and storylines, this book is also for you.  You can learn more about the book and the author by visiting the authors' website by going here:  http://www.sabinaengland.com/urdustan.html.  If you want to buy the book (which I recommend you do) you can do so by going here:  http://www.lulu.com/shop/sabina-england/urdustan-a-collection-of-short-stories/paperback/product-21189455.html

About the author
J. Austin Yoshino
Author: J. Austin Yoshino
That's what I do; I read and I know things.
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