Reasoning: Twenty Stories

Publisher: Cockatrice Books, 2015 | ISBN: 978-1912368105 | Format: 20.3×12.7cm paperback | Length: 138 pages | Price: £7.99.

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Reasoning: Twenty Stories is the first of a series of three collections by Rob Mimpriss. It is followed by For His Warriors and Prayer at the End.

As a man he would suffer for his life, and other people would suffer. He would learn to live watchfully, quick to advantage and flight. Over time he would see that others were like him, not always unhappy, not always alone, but carrying also this life inside them, ravenous and afraid.

An old man tries to assess his own guilt in the marriage his teenage daughter has destroyed. A young man tries to understand why, in the same family, he should be both hated and loved. A seventeenth-century Puritan preacher and a Cardiff woman facing divorce unite in their call to ‘know your innermost heart,’ while a Romanian dissident under Ceauşescu and a Welsh-language activist find themselves outwardly liberated but inwardly still in chains.

The style of the stories is deeply traditional, their content unsettlingly modern. In the same way, life in rural Wales is troubled by events taking place in the outside world. A strong historic awareness and a restlessly questing conscience suggest a writer less concerned with making his mark than with understanding what it means to inherit a Christian and Western heritage at the start of the twenty-first century.

‘if readers want stories that will provoke a great deal of musing on family dynamics, Mimpriss’ collections can be counted upon. The writer tugs at run-of-the-mill scenes and gleans details that morph from ordinary to expressive before the readers’ eyes. Bleak as they may be, these are honest fragments of the human condition and Mimpriss’ pensive eloquence is to be credited.’

Sophie Baggott, New Welsh Review

‘Through the stealthy movements of his prose, Rob Mimpriss enacts the quiet enigma of people’s lives and relationships. The result is an understated fiction of compelling intensity.’

Prof M Wynn Thomas

‘A quiet writer with a loud voice... I'll be listening for more.’ –

Michael Nobbs,

‘A powerful mixture of intelligence and percipience.’

Roger Granelli

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