Jackie Kay is one of my favourite Scottish authors (though she now lives in Manchester, England). She is a very talented poet, short story writer, novelist and playwright.
Wish I Were Here is her second collection of short stories. These are mostly short stories about people and their relationships. In The Mirrored Twins a gay couple climb a difficult mountain (to see the Mirrored Twins rock formation) and get caught in bad weather and consequently test their relationship to its limits, in Sonata a mysterious woman tells a stranger in a train all about her complicated love affair, in Not the Queen, a woman who looks identical to the Queen struggles with her identity.
These stories are written with an easy going style, often with great humour and always with a very observant eye for detail. You Go When You Can No Longer Stay, a story about a lesbian couple splitting up, starts 'It is not so much that we are splitting up that is really worrying me, it is the fact that she keeps quoting Martin Amis.'
My favourite story though is My Daughter the Fox, in which the narrator explores her feelings for her daughter who really is a fox:
We had a night of it, my daughter and I, with the foxes screaming outside. I had to stroke her fur and hold her close all night. She snuggled up, her wet nose against my neck.
These stories are all worth reading for their insights into human relationships.
Wish I Was Here by Jackie Kay, published by Picador
For the LGBT Reading Challenge