Undocumented and #HereToStay by Cristina Jimenez
Availability: Contained in What We Do Now: Standing Up For Your Values in Trump's America
Short piece by the executive director and cofounder of United We Dream
Why I'm Recommending: Stirring call to action on the importance of solidarity over the next four years. I hate that we're living at a time when books and pieces like this are necessary, but I'm glad we have people like Cristina Jimenez showing the way forward.
Amir and George by Sita Brahmachari
Availability: Contained in the Stripes anthology I'll Be Home For Christmas.
Story: Amir, an unaccompanied refugee from Iraq, has been in the UK for only a year when he enters the George Orwell public speaking competition - but not everything goes as planned.
Why I'm Recommending: Incredibly moving short story with a stunning voice. I really felt for Amir, and Sita captures his need to tell his story, and the difficulty he has doing so, perfectly. She also brings the two settings of the story - the school he speaks at, and the Iraq he has to flee from - vividly to life.
Guest post from Honor Cargill
I like short stories. Partly it’s just relief; like most dyslexics I’m intimidated by long books. The chance that I will start, far less finish, War and Peace in my lifetime is...slim. I’m going for Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote, published by Penguin Modern Classics. It probably qualifies as a novella but if it’s not too long for me it’s probably short enough – and it was in my Christmas stocking, thank you Santa.
Story: New York writer tells the story of his compelling neighbor Holly Golightly (and her nameless cat).
Why I’m recommending: There is no man-saves-Holly romantic ending in the book (unlike the film) and it’s none the worse for it and there’s not much ambiguity about how she’s getting by (she’s been taking care of herself for a long time). The best things about the film (which I love by the way) were there first on the page: the charisma of Holly Golightly and the perfect sharp dialogue.
The writing is crisp and fast with no ‘spare’ phrases - the drinks party scene is bliss. Enjoy!