The stories in this collection are unifed by a sense of dislocation. In each of the pieces, there is an underlying element of disturbance and disharmony. Resolution threads its way through the narratives while the characters struggle to navigate conscious choices and come to terms with new realities. A perspective that views the complexity of life journeys as a manifestation of intentional decisions, circumstances beyond one's control, and the need to reflect upon the combination of both in order to become fully realized, drives the narrative voices.
Lucy Black is an educator. She studied creative writing at the undergraduate level and later earned an M.A. in nineteenth-century British fiction. Her short stories have been published in many publications including Cyphers Magazine, under the gum tree, the Hawai’i Review, Vintage Script, and the Antigonish Review. She lives with her husband and son in a small town near Toronto, Ontario. The Marzipan Fruit Basket is her debut collection of short fiction.
I had been promised an adventure: a nice train ride, a
visit with Tante Edda, and a trip to the sea. This wasn’t a
nice train ride. My mother was acting strange. I didn’t like
it. “When can we go home?” I asked her. “I miss everyone.”
I didn’t want to go home particularly but I had discovered
that this question was a way to get attention. Usually it
made her circle me with her arms and smooth my hair,
and tell me what a good kind I was.
“Not yet,” she answered crossly. “We have things to
This was not the expected response and I began to cry.
“What’s wrong now?” she asked me. Clearly impatient.
“I don’t like this,” I said. “I want to go home.”
“I am home,” she said, “this is my home. Don’t you want
to be here with me? We’re going to the sea. You will meet
Tante Edda who I love very much. She has a big house
near the sea. She had a little girl once named, Maartje.”
“That’s a stupid name,” I said but then because my
mother looked so annoyed by my response, I continued,
“tell me about Maartje, what happened to her?”
And my mother began the story of Tante Edda and
Ome Hendrik, and Maartje and the terrible time near the
end of the war when there was nothing to eat but herring
and shrimp and no eggs and no vegetables because the
soldiers had taken everything, and how Maartje became
weaker and weaker and her little legs became so thin that
she couldn’t stand on them and had to lie down on the
bed all day long, and how she just faded away and died
and there was nothing to be done. And I fell asleep while
she was talking and when I woke up she was shaking me
and the train was stopping.