Short Stories

This collection explores the idea of the kiss and what it means in human life, symbolically, literally, in different times and places, from Renaissance Italy through to more contemporary settings, from the brothel or the hospital ward to a futuristic world. In the title story, the idea of the kiss and its implications for the protagonist in 1970s communist Russia stands in for the whole idea of the collection – that something seemingly so simple, obvious and universal as a kiss nevertheless can be open to examination, speculated over, be the site of intense anxiety and uncertainty and provoke radically different interpretations.  The tone is varied, from the bittersweet, to the elegiac, from the satirical to the speculative but they are unified by this common idea and in some sense speak to each other.

When accepting the stories for publication, Blue Door Press said:

‘The theme of the kiss created tension, romance, mystery and sensuality. We wanted to turn the page and read more and loved the jumping between different cultures and eras as well as all the varied –  and strong – voices. The stories are sometimes funny, sometimes moving, sometimes both. They reveal a distinctive voice: compassionate, understated at times but poetic too.’

Date of publication – 7 December 2020

Blue Door Press


©2020 by Barbara Bleiman

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