Review of ‘Rising to the Surface’ in Takahe Review Online, August 2014, by Sue Wootton. See review here
“Vasil’s stories are peopled by folk either swimming in circles or floating adrift in their own lives. The stories begin when someone or something unexpectedly knocks a character out of the deeper tides and compelling currents of habit, offering them a chance to change tack, change stroke, even to completely change ponds. In story after story I could almost hear the rust creaking as personalities began to stretch. Vasil writes this tension well, taking the question to the wire: will the person break or adapt? She has an eye for the “harmless enough eccentricity” which can end up, for better or for worse, dictating the course of a person’s life. Many of her characters are doomed by their particular peculiarities of character to live a life other than the one they once imagined for themselves. How like most of us, then! Vasil, knowing this, writes with kindness. She can be funny and witty, but she is not cruel about failure or disappointment; she does not mock. The reader warms readily to the characters, even the ones with the obviously very annoying or self-destructive habits. My heart lifted and fell alongside every character’s own rise and fall, a sure sign that I was hooked.”
Review in Landfall Review Online, July 2014, by Jenny Powell. Read the review here
“Vasil’s stories evoke sensitive amusement and enjoyment, and promote a positive regard for personal difference. They immerse the reader in a realm of creative curiosity. Underwater immersion, diving beneath the surface of social etiquette and expectations, is what Latika Vasil offers us. Rising to the Surface grants us a privileged opportunity to float into unique private worlds, with the sensation of being unencumbered by the weight of judgement, or the passing of time.”
Review of ‘Rising’ in the New Zealand Listener, January 25 2014, by Cheryl Pearl Sucher. See review here
“…Like seemingly simple but ultimately challenging puzzles, the pieces of these stories fit together in the end with surprising satisfaction, never failing to elicit a knowing smile.”
Wellington poet, short story writer and novelist Tim Jones blogs about the books he read in 2013. Read his brief review of ‘Rising’ here
Rising To The Surface by Latika Vasil – fiction/short story collection (4.5/5)
“A fine debut collection of short stories by Wellington (NZ) author Latika Vasil – a collection whose power is cumulative, and derives from the author’s understated, observational style.”
- Hear Latika discuss her debut collection of stories with Lynn Freeman on the Arts on Sunday Programme on Radio New Zealand here.
- Latika talks about Rising to the Surface with Diana Dekker in a feature article in the Dominion Post’s magazine Your Weekend. Read it here.
- Latika chats with writer Tim Jones about Rising to the Surface. Read the interview from Tim’s blog ‘Books in the Trees’ here
- Rising to the Surface is featured in ‘Flash Frontier. An Adventure in Short Fiction’. Read the article and interview here
- Latika chats with poet Saradha Koirala about ‘Rising’ in the online journal The Lumière Reader.
- Latika talks about all things writing with journalist Paula Ray in the Indian Weekender, April 9, 2015. See interview here.