If you read “Of Hunger and Fury” by Grace Chan you are in for a delicious ghost story. The fifth story in Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women, Chan delivers darkness. From the first paragraph I was aware of a sinister undertone that didn’t let up until the final words. This is a tale of vengeance—of retribution.
There is rage here. You can see it in the space between the words. Like the women in the story, the emptiness that connects the black marks of ink gets no recognition, but without it the letters would slide off the page, untethered. The story vibrates in this liminal place—between the lines, off the page and caught somewhere between fiction and life.
Rich with metaphor, I felt the seething dissatisfaction of every woman that has put her self aside in order to conform. Dreams, desires and talents simmer on the back burner as women become subservient and obedient wives… but they still simmer.
The heat that boils beneath “Of Hunger and Fury” is dangerous and relevant. It is the fever dream of generations of proper women, good wives and perfect daughters. It is justifiably angry as lives spin to nothing in the service of tradition.
In “Of Hunger and Fury” I suspect Chan has shown us just the tip of the iceberg—a sample of a feminine apocalypse to come.
“Of Hunger and Fury” by Grace Chan is the fifth story in Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women, an anthology of Asian women in horror. Grace Chan is a Melbourne-based speculative fiction writer and doctor. Her family immigrated from Malaysia to Australia before her first birthday. She completed a medical degree in 2012 and is currently working and training in psychiatry. Her inspirations include Oliver Sacks, Ursula Le Guin, Isobelle Carmody, China Mieville, Ken Liu and Ted Chiang. In her downtime, she enjoys coffee, space operas, and thinking about where we come from and where we’re all going.
Her writing can be found in Going Down Swinging #39 and Monash University’s upcoming Verge Anthology. Her novella, ‘The Ship of Theseus,’ has been shortlisted for Seizure’s Viva la Novella VII.
Find out about the other stories
in Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women (and more)
here under the #amreading tag.
Black Cranes: A Review in Verse by Renata Pavrey | Tomes and Tales
Skeleton Hour 04: Black Cranes | Horror Writers
Black Cranes Release Day Panel | Omnium Gatherum
Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women by Lee Murray I | Gingernuts of Horror
Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women by Lee Murray II | Gingernuts of Horror
Meet Black Crane Lee Murray | AngelaYurikoSmith.com
Meet Black Crane Grace Chan | AngelaYurikoSmith.com
Meet Black Crane Geneve Flynn | AngelaYurikoSmith.com