by Guest Writer Sanjee Bandara
The fascinating characters that roam across the pages of Emma Donoghue’s stories have all gone astray: they are emigrants, runaways, drifters, lovers old and new. They are gold miners and counterfeiters, attorneys and slaves. They cross other borders too: those of race, law, sex, and sanity. They travel for love or money, incognito or under duress.
With rich historical detail, the celebrated author of Room takes us from puritan Massachusetts to revolutionary New Jersey, antebellum Louisiana to the Toronto highway, lighting up four centuries of wanderings that have profound echoes in the present. Astray offers us a surprising and moving history for restless times.
What an incredible collection of short stories! Each story is based on real historical events, and each story is about people going astray and crossing boundaries in all its forms. There aren’t words to describe how much I enjoyed this collection of stories; they are beautifully written, with fully developed characters, and with a clear sense of place and time. All of these resonate now just as they did then. Highly recommended!