Illustrations from paintings by Anita Klein
Julia, a young woman in an Andalusian town, aspires to be a writer. Her writing remains earthbound and self-absorbed until she learns to reach out to the world more. In doing so, in connecting more with others, she becomes a writer – and she becomes an angel of a perfectly non-religious kind.
This is an unashamedly feel-good book of linked stories, a literary gift book with beautiful illustrations. The stories are lyrical and magical but with an edge.
The angel of the stories was first published on the storytelling website Shortbread Stories in a serialisation of twenty episodes in winter/spring 2011.
- Extract from The angel of the stories
- Julia Buendia Allone was proud of her name, even though it made people uncomfortable. People said there was no more difficult name in the world. How do you pronounce it? I don’t mind, said Julia, it’s up to you. But people still wanted to know. They shied away from calling her ‘Alone’ although that was the obvious pronunciation to many. Perhaps they felt that labelling her with such a name represented a small act of cruelty. So Julia herself took pity and decided to distance herself from the perception of loneliness. Her English mother had named her Julia but she abandoned the liquid “ll”s of Allone, retreating to the Spanish roots of her father with the sudden certainty of a sound like a “y”.
About the author
John Simmons is the author of many published books, including Room 121 (with Jamie Jauncey) published in 2011. The angel of the stories is his first published work of fiction.
Robin Pilcher, novelist
About the artist
Anita Klein studied at Chelsea and the Slade schools of art. She is a fellow and past president of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers (re) and has work in many private and public collections in Europe, the USA and Australia, including the Arts Council of Great Britain. She has exhibited regularly around the world over the last 25 years.
You can see more of Anita’s work at www.anitaklein.com.
“Ravel said he wanted his music to be complex, but not complicated. Anita Klein might say the same of her art. There is a grand simplicity to her works, but that is not the same as saying they lack subtlety and ambiguity. On the contrary, they have the sort of unselfconscious directness that comes from living and breathing art for so long that it becomes second nature” -
John Russell Taylor, The Times