Review: Of This New World by Allegra Hyde
Of This New World by Allegra Hyde
Winner of The John Simmons Iowa Short Fiction Award in 2016, Allegra Hyde’s collection of short stories titled Of This New World is a truly transportive and engrossing work. Each story has its own carefully crafted world that not only enraptures readers but brings forth its own mysterious and thought-provoking ending, leaving each story masterfully complete and incomplete.
The tone and direction of this collection are set by the very first story, After the Beginning. This story is a re-imagined account of the creation story, breathing life into Adam and Eve. Reading from Eve’s perspective, we are allowed into her new world, one filled with sin and the now of knowing right from wrong. We see this story with fresh eyes, just as she now views the repercussions of having knowledge. Hyde creates a Utopia out of the despair experienced by both Adam and Eve. This concept of reimagined worlds, which is implied by the title of the collection, runs impressively throughout all of the included works. No world the same, no circumstance alike, no perspective identical.
Her award-winning collection has been praised for its imaginative qualities, finding stories and voices that are often overlooked. We hear from not just Adam and Eve, but from the environmentally conscious, injured war veterans, neglected children, and hurting souls. Hyde’s stories allow for fictional circumstance to be explored, while at the same time holding realistic qualities to each and every moral undertone.
Hyde’s writing speaks for itself. She has won two Pushcart Prizes and has received support from a number of outlets, with The Elizabeth George Foundation, Lucas Artist Residency Program, and the Jentel Foundation to name a few, and she has been published in numerous literary journals, and has been included in anthologies such as Best Small Fictions and Best Women’s Travel Writing. This is by no means a complete list of her successes.
She recently read from her collection at Arizona State University, as a guest alumni speaker for The Creative Writing Program hosted by the English Department.
Watch here: https://vimeo.com/209270349
Allegra Hyde’s website
Purchase Of This New World here
Reviewed by Maddie Thies