After a life dedicated to the study of languages, A. Colin Wright has distilled his life’s observations into this engaging collection of short stories, most of which have been previously published in literary journals. Now retired, his life’s adventures, which include serving in the British Air Force, attending Cambridge University, and being a professor of Russian, have inspired this collection. “I’m a librarian and I kissed a film star once. I touched her nipples too. At least, I think I did.” So begins “Queen’s Grill.” Horatio Humphries, one of the unreliable narrators, strikes up a brief friendship with a movie star on a rough Atlantic crossing, but his “twin” brother doesn’t believe him. In “A Pregnant Woman with Parcels at Brock and Bagot,” an unnamed woman may or may not have an affair with a man she met at a party-depending on whether she can get by a woman in front of her. “Distantly from Gardens,” a variant on the theme of the “double” found often in Russian literature, presents a man with a split personality, inhabited by two narrators who are his past as well as his present. While other stories are told in either the first or third person, the subject here demands the use of the second. The stories in A Cupboardful of Shoes explore subjects as wide-ranging as largely disappointed love, violence, and war, sometimes with an underlying religious theme, serving to illustrate Wright’s eclectic style and literary interests.
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A. Colin Wright is an award-winning author of plays, novels, short stories, journalism and other non-fiction. He has published a major book and many acedemic articles on Russian and Comparative Literature.
Born in 1938 in Chelmsford, England, and educated at Pembroke College, Camridge (with a doctorate in Modern Languages), he came to Canada in 1964 and now lives in Kingston, Ontario, where is Professor Emeritus at Queen’s University. He is married, with two sons.
His short stories have appeared in numerous literary journals in Canada and England. Two of his plays have been winners or finalists in the Threatre BC National Playwriting Competition, and another was winner of the 1995 Gladys Cameron Watt Award in the Ottawa Little Theatre One-Act Playwriting Competition. In addition he is active as director and actor in the theatre.
As well as Russian, he is fluent in French, German and Italian, has basic Spanish and elementary knowledge of Scottish Gaelic. He has also acted as a leader for Craig Travel on trips to Russia, Ukraine, South Africa, China, Southern India and Nort Atlantic Islands.
Directing: (Domino Theatre, Kingston)
Ladies in Retirement (assistant director)
The Importance of Being Ernest
The Night of the Iguana
The Freedom of the City
The Troll King, Monsieur Ballon and two other roles, Peer Gynt
Malvolia, Twelfth Night
First Voice, Under Milk Wood
Rosenberg, Amadeus(Theatre 5 and Grand Theatre, Kingston)
Father Jack, Dancing at Lughnasa (Domino Theatre, Kingston)
Claude Amory, Black Coffee (Domino Theatre, Kingston)
Published Books: Sardinian Silver, Mikhail Bulgakov: Life and Interpretations, and A Cupboard Full Of Shoes.
Please Visit A. Colin Wrights Author’s Page At Cold Coffee Press