Story Title: ‘National Gallery’ by Peter Winder.
Collection/Anthology?: Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology 4 (Bristol Review of Books)
Briefly: The narrator is a regimented sort of chap. He eats his sandwiches in the restroom at work at lunchtime, at exactly the same time every day, before heading off to gaze at the Van Gogh’s in the National Gallery, before leaving at precisely 13:46 to get back to his desk for 14:00. One day however, his routine becomes upset, when he remembers seeing a young woman with blonde curly hair in the gallery, on a number of particular days.
Afterthoughts: This is a great story from London-born Peter Winder, mainly because he captures the ‘voice’ of the protagonist – the narrator of the story – so well. Aside from his actions, it’s clear from his ‘voice’ that the narrator has some kind of condition (Asperger’s?). It adds to the authenticity, and in making National Gallery the well-rounded and engaging story that it is. In his bio it says that Peter Wender has been writing short stories for pleasure for many years, and reading this story one can see that this was clearly time well spent.
This story was read as part of a review of the Bristol Review of Books Anthology 4. If you want to find out more about this collection then I invite you to pop along to my forethoughts post for this title. I also encourage you to make a trip over to the publisher page for this title.