//Everyone has a Story

Everyone has a Story

Imaginative writing – poetry, plays, novels and short stories – the writing of fiction, in other words, is one of the best ways we have of understanding ourselves. As novelist Henry James put it, “The purpose of the novel has ever been to help the human heart come to know itself.” 

This may be said of the short story too. The scholar Walter Benjamin calls the short story “a micro narrative” and says that in our hectic age, this form speaks to us precisely because it is short, uncluttered, and packs a punch – or conceals a twist.

Fr. Myron’s thirty stories, distributed across two volumes, are varied, but are, broadly speaking, of two kinds: historical and contemporary.

The ‘historical’ ones are reconstructions of biblical narratives, where the writer gives psychological depth and meaning to an event or character of the past.  Thus “Thomas, my Brother” looks at the apostle through the eyes of his twin sister; “Lydia, Merchant of Purple” describes the first church in Europe – Philippi – and how Paul and Luke handled this completely new experience. “Ana of Najera” is an unusual take on the conversion of Ignatius of Loyola.

In the contemporary stories, several are about priests. The Catholic priest has always been an enigmatic figure, largely because of his celibacy, and the recent scandals in the Church have made him a tragic figure as well, often irredeemably flawed. Does priesthood have a future? If it does, perhaps not in its present form. 

All in all, a valuable collection, and an excellent gift for Christmas. Reading it through, Fr. Myron’s words continue to tease: “Each of us has a story, and it is not insignificant.”  Time to ask the reader, have you found yours? 

  • Courtesy: Joanne Rodrigues 

  • Title: The Girl from Calangute 
  • Author: Myron Pereira, SJ
  • Publisher: Notion Press, Chennai
  • Pages: 241 
  • Price: Rs 350

  • Title: Speaking to Sushila 
  • Author: Myron Pereira, SJ
  • Publisher: Notion Press, Chennai
  • Pages: 214 
  • Price: Rs 300