Feminist short stories: what makes them any good? Is it a matter of content, or political correctness, or simply attitude? My “Seven Hotel Stories” explores.
At a recent reading from my blackly comic “Seven Hotel Stories” in Vienna, a man asked me:
‘These stories seem explicitly feminist. Is that intentional?’
This led to a discussion of “can a man be a feminist?”, to which most of the women present answered “yes, please”.
My pre-Corona reading at “Shakespeare & Co” in Vienna. This great bookshop deserves your support today!
“The Hotel Stories” are intended to be feminist
My answer was equally simple: yes, the “Hotel Stories” are intended to have a feminist flavour.
Ms N, the hero of the Hotel Stories, does not accept bad behaviour from her male guests – or colleagues. She sometimes takes strong direct action to change, or sometimes, end, their bad behaviour. She works with her ally Tatiana, who, although blonde, beautiful and not well educated, is brilliant and perceptive and learns quickly from Ms N.
Indeed, an early reviewer of the story “The Two Rooms” commented: “dark, feminist and fun – not three words you often hear together”.
I would be delighted to hear your views. To the question: “Are the Hotel Stories Feminist?” would you say:
(iii) why does it matter?
(iv) some other answer.
If you do not yet own a kindle or paperback copy of Seven Hotel Stories (click on link for Amazon) you can find excerpts from all the stories in this blog – have a browse – including a free copy of The Two Rooms.
Let me know what you think!
… and “Sausages”
Incidentally, another thoughtful person asked me whether I thought the title of my story “Seven Ukrainian Girls“, which I had used for the 8th story in the “Hotel Stories” series, could be politically incorrect. I urged her to read it and see what she thought. I invited comments from readers; one or two said she had a point, even though the young Ukrainians in the title were fully empowered. So I have changed the name of the story to “Sausages” – which was my original working title. The story shows just how versatile sausages can be – and also features young women from Ukraine. You can read the first part of “Sausages” at the link.
You can find the full collection of Seven Hotel Stories here.