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The Reach of a Root – Glasgow

  • Waterstones Byres Road 351-355 Byres Road Glasgow, Scotland, G12 8AU United Kingdom (map)

Join Transatlantic writers Laura Tansley and Micaela Maftei in celebrating the launch of their new short story collection, The Reach of a Root.

What others are saying so far:

The Reach of a Root is a meeting of minds and, much more than that, a mingling of voices, a new and daring collaboration between two storytellers. Laura Tansley and Micaela Maftei venture where few have gone before, forging an indivisible authorial self in addition to their individual achievements as gifted writers. Full of vivid detail – a mint in the mouth, a creased map, a glance across a wine glass – these stories show us that no one is ordinary, and nothing is really as it seems. – Ailsa Cox

The Reach of a Root is a compelling, fascinating collection, with strangeness and surprise along the way. These stories question, make us hold our breath as we search for answers, and unsettle as well as ensnare. In cities, restaurants and bedrooms, we follow the characters as they search for something more, something else. The voices here are woven seamlessly, and the real wonder is in how this has been achieved. – Holly Howitt-Dring

 An intriguing and barbed collection, tuned to the prickly undercurrents and cool, disquieting notes of urban life. – Laura Waddell


This assured and challenging collection of stories questions conventions of authorship, and within its fictional worlds, interrogates and unsettles, toppling the reader into landscapes fractured and problematic. Employing arresting simile and metaphor, the texts explore oddity, identity, communication (especially non-communication), relationships, love, work, mishap, transitions, hunger and family mess. 

Black Mirror-like, each story conjures future and contemporary dystopias; written in economical and flexible prose, the writing blends poetic language and striking descriptive detail with the raw and vernacular. Story after story exposes life’s surface and what lies beneath: the unsettled, bruised, awkward, incongruous, edgy and funny. Dialogue is sharp, characters individuated and the natural rhythms of coded speech and thought-process tangle and untangle; place and situations are convincingly rendered; psychological detail is rich, nuanced and troubling: things are familiar and yet unsettling, brutal and surreal. In these densely written tales, everything is fleeting and equivocal, even in the ruts we dig ourselves into; female characters are especially trapped or self-destructive and the writing of these unstable, sometimes self-deluding, psyches is particularly penetrative, recognisable - and sad. This often playful and urgent authoring of a world of shiny surfaces reveals the material and spiritual poverty we breathe, the misunderstandings, self-consciousness, and hunger to fix things, to fit in, and yet not to fit. Characters swing between banality and adventure, between compliance and acts of violence against self and others. This is modern writing for a modern, paradoxical world. – Shelagh Weeks