Story Title: ‘The Milk Jug’ by Eluned Gramich.
Collection/Anthology?: Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology 4 (Bristol Review of Books)
Briefly: Little Maksim is glued to the cartoons on his TV. Living all of his young life in Kiev he’s never seen the fields and railway bridges that he sees in his cartoons, and he values this as a bit of escapism. However, the times are a-changing. Maksim’s mother and grandmother are packing up all of their possessions in brown paper and white tissue, and preparing for a move to a new life.
Afterthoughts: Welsh-born Elenud Gramich has given us a quiet tale that burns with sensitivity. Despite focussing on a family who are leaving the only life they know to begin a new one, there’s a real warmth to this story. It’s comforting in a strange kind of way, and the source of this comfort is a single piece of crockery – a white milk jug that has a faded blue flower on its handle. Brief this story may be, but it comes with way more sensitivity than its short length would suggest.
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.