The Blotted Line reviewed by Tony McMahon by MehreenAhmed []
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The blotted line

by Mehreen Ahmed

  Manuscript   Archival Material

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
The Blotted Line reviewed by Tony McMahon   (2013-04-11)


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by MehreenAhmed

The Blotted Line Mehreen Ahmed

The Story Institute

The Blotted Line is the new short story collection by Queensland writer Mehreen Ahmed. Boasting a deliberately cosmopolitan air, these tales weave their way skilfully through all parts of the globe, taking the reader to Spain, Brisbane, Paris and Bangladesh, just to name a few, and the overwhelming sense one gets on reading them is one of movement.

But Ahmed is more than just a chronicler of geographic place names. The psychological insights underpinning each of her characters are profound. While the reader is, quite literally, transported to a different place story to story, there is a thematic cohesion that links each of the seven tales and makes for an overall satisfaction factor not unlike that of a novel. The seven distinct stories here relate to each other in meaningful ways - no small feat - exploring issues of loss, trust, freedom and happiness.

If this were an album, the term `all killer, no filler' might be invoked, as it's difficult to pick a favourite. With a gun to his head, though, this writer would probably choose `Of Note', which closes the collection. Set in Canada, this is the story of a refugee that has significant resonance for this country and its own attitudes to those fleeing persecution. Political without appearing overtly so, this story is a good example of Ahmed's skill in bringing together disparate geographical narratives to bear on her singular vision of how the world should be, a noble pursuit if ever there was one.

Tony McMahon

 Author of The Single Gentleman's Dining Club

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