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6 Things with... Anita Goveas, author of "Families and Other Natural Disasters"

Families and Other Natural Disasters is a collection of flash fiction about families, born into, created or found, how they support us or repress us, and the ways they can change us and shape us. These stories are set in the UK and India, in aquariums, ballrooms and outer space. They follow women into volcanoes and out to sea. The characters search for lost brothers and lost selves and find prairie dogs and sea serpents.

In a debut collection rich in cultural detail, Anita Goveas beautifully explores the theme of family as one of the essential elements that hold the universe together.

Anita Goveas is British-Asian, London-based, and fueled by strong coffee and paneer jalfrezi. She was first published in the 2016 London Short Story Prize anthology, most recently in Little Fiction and Gone Lawn. She’s on the editorial team at Flashback Fiction, an editor at Mythic Picnic’s Twitter zine, and tweets erratically @coffeeandpaneer Her debut flash collection, ‘Families and other natural disasters’, is available from Reflex Press, and links to her stories are at here. Anita also volunteers on the National Domestic Violence helpline, and had her wedding vows renewed by Elvis in Las Vegas.

So Anita, lovely to have you! Can you tell us a bit about "Families & Other Natural Disasters?" What were six things that went into this project?

Samosas, Brimful of Asha on repeat, masala chai, What’s apping cousins in India to check half-remembered details, rewatching Junglee, lots of nail-filing as a distraction.

Five things you need to get some writing done?

One strong cup of coffee, snacks, a comfortable chair, remembering my laptop charger, putting my phone on mute

Four types of readers who will enjoy this book?

People who like sea serpents, fellow Desis, people who have survived their families, fans of experimental flash fiction

Three challenges you faced in the writing of this book?

Finding time to write, figuring out what I was writing about, knowing when to stop.

Two writers that have influenced your work?

Susmita Battacharya and Ingrid Jendrzejewski.

One thing you hope the readers will get from this collection?


Anita's flash fiction collection, ‘Families and other natural disasters’, is available from Reflex Press. You can connect with Anita on Twitter as @coffeeandpaneer.

Disclaimer: "EMC's 6 things" interview series seeks to promote the artist and their featured writing and is in no way an endorsement of any of said artist's services, opinions or other work outside of this feature.


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