Snapshots of a people

42 short stories with a Maltese complexion

‘These stories are like photographs taken with a sharp focus lens. There is a strong sense of reality in the scenes, the people and their behaviour. The reader gets involved.’

Dr Edward de Bono

Anna-Maria Buhagiar’s lens focuses on a diverse range of ages as though fascinated by the change. It finds characters with a Maltese complexion, living the Maltese way of life. If you zoom in, you may well spy some facets of yourself or of some familiar other – very decently exposed. The time spent on any subject is not tedious. The lens stops long enough, like a butterfly gathering pollen. Swiftly and elegantly, it zooms out and refocuses. This lens reveals more than that which an ordinary lens discloses. Propelled beyond the flash, your mind travels and unravels. But in some instances, the effect is immediate and tickles you into gentle laughter … and sometimes moves you to tears. Every time, Kenneth Zammit Tabona’s pen and ink vignettes provide a delightful double-flash for maximum impact.

In 2005, Anna-Maria Buhagiar won a Highly Commended Story Award in the Commonwealth Short Story Competition. Entries could not exceed 600 words. This led to her writing a collection of such stories. The target was 600 words for each story. This is a powerful form of writing, commonly known as Flash Fiction. It suggests in a few words what might not be communicated in a volume. Fascinatingly, in many of these stories, what is left unsaid is more important than what is actually said. The collection of stories has just been published by Mint Editions Ltd. In the foreword, Dr de Bono, the leading authority in the world in the field of creative thinking and the inventor of lateral thinking, points out that “the stories are full of the reality of the real world around us even though there are not many words. This is especially attractive in an age when we are overwhelmed by too much information”.

A Very Decent Exposure entertains the reader with a generous dose of dry humour, and in the illustrations, Kenneth Zammit Tabona, through his intuitiveness, captures the soul of each story.

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