Book Review: Heroines – An Anthology of Short Fiction and Poetry edited by Sarah Nicholson and Caitlin White


About the Book:

For a time, it seemed that a great storehouse of women’s treasure had been forever lost; the stories of heroines who had awoken to the call to adventure, and faced down challenges, in order to bring the gifts born through their trials into the world. The Heroines Anthology tells tales from before time began. Its stories travel alongside some of the forgotten women of history, and it imagines its heroines all the way into the unknown territory of the future.

With a focus on reimagining the heroines of legend, fairytale, and mythology, in ways that are both resonant and startlingly new, The Heroines Anthology presents a challenging and soulful collection of short fiction and poetry by women writers that interrogates the traditional power dynamics of classic literature, while touching on the deeper questions of women’s true nature.

Featuring – Toni Brisland, Aislinn Batstone, Emily Brewin, Sue Clennell, Kerryn Coombs Valeontis, Eileen Chong, Therese Doherty, Jane Frank, Laura E. Goodin, Maddie Godfrey, Maria Haskins, Annika Herb, Julie Kearney, Elise Kelly, Kathyrn Lyster, Tamara Lazaroff, Antonina Mikocka-Walus, Catherine Moffat, Jaya Penelope, Joyce Parkes, Louise Pieper, Sarah Rice, Gail Willems & Jena Woodhouse.

My Thoughts:

This little anthology presented me with a welcome challenge. I never read poetry and rarely read short fiction, but when I was offered the opportunity to review this collection, instead of passing and using the excuse that it’s not my thing, I accepted, and challenged myself to read out of my comfort zone. I am so glad that I did! This whole collection was absorbing and highly readable. With a focus on speculative and historical storytelling, Heroines celebrates the talents of women writers who reclaim, restore, and reimagine women’s stories. There are some highly talented contributors and their offerings are lyrical, intimate and thought provoking. I felt that on a whole, this collection is all about women’s choices, both within an empowering context and a disempowering one, depending on which piece you are reading.

There were three stand out pieces for me:
The Girl and the Narratorial Intrusion by Annika Herb – very entertaining and sharply observant
The Fisherman and the Cormorant by Therese Doherty – such a beautiful take on love and reimagining what happily ever after means
Salt by Catherine Moffat – a disturbing, yet intensely powerful read that haunted me after. One of the best pieces of short fiction I’ve ever read – although that’s not really much to go on given my limited exposure to the form!


Thanks is extended to Sarah Nicholson for providing me with a copy of Heroines for review.

About the Publisher:

As a niche micro-publisher, The Neo Perennial Press publishes mythology inspired works: old texts, works poetically renewed, adapted or recreated and new, living myths.

The Neo Perennial Press also runs events under the banner of Heroines: presenting women writers who reclaim women’s histories, or creatively imagine their futures.

Find out more about The Neo Perennial Press here


Heroines – An Anthology of Short Fiction and Poetry
Published September 3rd 2018 by Neo Perennial Press

7 thoughts on “Book Review: Heroines – An Anthology of Short Fiction and Poetry edited by Sarah Nicholson and Caitlin White

  1. I have the same dilemma: I do occasionally review short stories but I don’t really like reading them much and feel out of my depth when I do…I find that by the time I get to the end of the book I’ve forgotten the early stories, and I find it hard to discern a theme. I like poetry, though I don’t often ‘get on well’ with modern Australian poetry, and I find that difficult to review too.
    So although I get pressured to review these forms, I find it best to leave it to others and go on enjoying my preferred form of reading.
    Which is a roundabout way of saying ‘Good on you for doing this!’

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds fantastic!! And very well-timed for IWD on Friday 😉👍 I really love Eileen Chong’s work, so will have to check this out. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: #BookBingo – Round 11 | Theresa Smith Writes

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