When I first met Tania, she was emanating warmth and cheer from a café table in Bristol, wearing a creepily accurate heart necklace, and being very specific about the temperature of her treacle tart. Naturally, I felt an immediate kinship, though it actually started before this day, when I first met her through her words. 2,719 of her words, to be exact, in the form of “The Special Advisor,” which previously appeared in Five Dials, and now begins on page 39 of SOME OF US GLOW MORE THAN OTHERS.
I am in awe of any writer who rolls up her sleeves and thinks, “let’s explore the interior life of a death statistician, shall we?”—as she does in that particular story—and each story in her latest collection is more inventive, strange, and strangely familiar than the last. A former science journalist, Tania Hershman invites readers to join her in the laboratory, where the future appears to be rushing ever faster to meet our present. Whether she is writing about genetics, research etiquette, art and experimentation, or the simplest molecules that make up our myriad world, each of her stories exude the power of her precision and close observation. Ranging from poignant cameos and unlikely viewpoints to the most complex decisions humans can make, the stories here gently challenge our world view as we careen toward the unknown and ask us to assess what we wish to retain of ourselves, what to jettison, and what we hope to attain when we get there. As writer, doctor, and BBC broadcaster Farrah Jarral says,
This beguiling collection of writing defies categorization and is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. SOME OF US GLOW MORE THAN OTHERS is like a 21st century Edgar Allen Poe meets Margaret Atwood, with a sprinkling of Ursula Le Guin. The bright and sometimes eerie thread of science runs through it, reminding us of our fundamentally biological nature, and illuminating the boundaries between us and technology.”
Hershman’s first short story collection, The White Road and Other Stories (Salt) was commended by the judges of the 2009 Orange Award for New Writers. She is also the author of the poetry collection Terms and Conditions (Nine Arches Press, 2017), My Mother Was an Upright Piano: Fictions (Tangent Books, 2012), Nothing Here Is Wild, Everything Is Open (Southword Editions, 2016), and co-author of Writing Short Stories: A Writes and Artists Companion (Bloomsbury, 2014). Tania is founder and curator of ShortStops, the UK and Ireland short story hub.
You can purchase the book in the UK here on Amazon, and it will be available in the US later this year—details to be announced soon!