Night-Time Stories Edited by Yen-Yen Lu

I’m very fond of short stories and must extend my enormous thanks to Christi at The Emma Press for sending me a copy of Night-Time Stories edited by Yen-Yen-Lu in return for an honest review. I wasn’t intending on reading and reviewing this collection for another month, but I got caught up in the stories!

Published by The Emma Press on 1st December 2022, Night-Time Stories is available for purchase here.

Night-Time Stories

Night-time Stories is an anthology of short fiction themed around the night-time, by authors including Angela Readman, Winifred Mok and Leanne Radojkovich and edited by Yen-Yen Lu. Cover design by Emma Dai’an Wright.

‘The bush next to me rustles. Two spots of yellow light reflect back. These stars creep closer, blink, then duck and hop over the boundary between us. A black cat, her fur seeming to shimmer as it breaks up the light from the lamppost, looks up towards me.
Ancestral night trapped in a physical, adorable form.

I offer her my hand. She regards it. Sniffs it. Pushes her face towards it. I ruffle her ears and she backs up a little, then moves towards me, touching my ankles gently as she walks past me, then swings back round and pushes her head yet again. Ruffle.
She purrs, and the dance is complete.’ 
 – from ‘Even This Helps’, by Zoë Wells

My Review of Night-Time Stories

Ten short stories.

Night-Time Stories is a phenomenal collection that I adored. In fact, the writing here couldn’t be anything other than short stories because it is so exquisite that any longer pieces would be almost too intense to bear. 

The introduction to Night-Time Stories by Yen-Yen Lu sets the tone for a wonderful collection, but also gives the reader an insight into why night is such a powerful iterative image in the book that I found very interesting. I also thoroughly appreciated the biographies of the contributors included at the end of the anthology because I had been so entranced by their writing that I wanted to know more. 

The stories themselves, as the title might suggest, give glimpses into a world dominated by night. From relationships to consideration of the more fantastical, through creatures and places, each story invites the reader to observe the world around them, to consider what might be happening in the cosmos, in an empty room and even in Tesco at 3AM, in a heightened manner. The wonderful employment of the senses from the taste of salty soup to the touch of a cat’s fur means that reading Night-Time Stories somehow enhances the reader’s perceptions and their ability to notice the world around them and simply to ‘be’. I thought this effect was outstanding.

Night-Time Stories might only be a slim volume, but it is so filled with nuanced and beguiling prose that it thoroughly entertains and has huge impact. There’s an eclectic mix of styles and authors so that any reader will find a piece that resonates with them. I thought it was excellent.

About Yen-Yen Lu

Yen-Yen Lu is a freelance editor and writer. Her short stories have been published in online zines and the anthology In Which Dragons Are Real But (Fincham Press, 2018). As an editor, she is passionate about promoting underrepresented voices in independent publishing. She studied Creative Writing at the University of Roehampton. Her favourite things about the night-time are the lack of crowds, and sleeping.

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