How the Light Gets In by Clare Fisher

htlgiHow The Light Gets In is the first collection from award winning short story writer and novelist, Clare Fisher. A book of very short stories that explores the spaces between light and dark and how we find our way from one to the other.

From buffering Skype chats and the truth about beards, to fried chicken shops and the things smartphones make you less likely to do when alone in a public place, Fisher paints a complex, funny and moving portrait of contemporary British life.


I love fiction that does interesting things and this collection of super short stories does just that.  Often finishing up in a page or two, the pieces explore our modern life through the eyes of 20 and 30-somethings.  Realistic with flights of fancy, at her best Fisher gets at truths we may have felt but haven’t said aloud.

Despite having spent a greater proportion of her life in a relationship than not in a relationship, she feels that a greater proportion of her ‘self’ is unknown than known.

Some of my favorites spill an entire tale in three sentences.

The length makes the stories perfect for reading on the train or in stolen moments. In fact, I found myself saving them for my commute because they fit so well.  Light and dark are covered at length as themes, as you would expect, as well as finding yourself and belonging.  I get the feeling Fisher is around my age because some stories can only told by someone who has straddled the digital divide, who has both lived the “before” and is fully immersed in the “after”.  Someone who has been told since they were small that they can do anything, and who is just realizing that anything does not equal everything.

Yes, you will die without doing or being many things; you will die as you are – and perhaps that is alright.

As with any collection there’s some range – when the stories are good they take your breath away, but when they’re off they’re just meh.  There are so many short pieces, though, that the mehs (or the ones that don’t get through my head) fall away, leaving gorgeous prose behind.

Great if you’re looking for something a little different and beautifully written that embraces the now.

Thanks to Influx Press for providing a review copy.