Donald Ward’s stories in The Weeping Chair are confidently layered with unexpected situations and characters whose faith in themselves provides the strength to confront whatever weird or challenging experience befalls them.
While Ward’s style is steeped in the traditional storytelling structures of Flannery O’Connor and P.G. Wodehouse, his highly imaginative settings and eccentric character profiles push the stories’ energies into contemporary spheres of literary entertainment.
His thematic pursuits usually deal with the human willingness to carry on in the face of an often hostile and baffling universe, where nothing is as it first appears and that is clearly evident in this collection.
The Weeping Chair employs ideas that are both impossible and unexpected to serve as platforms for the edgy humour always lurking in the human condition and beyond: a race of superior chickens investigate their earthly origins, a badger shares his fears with a monk, a nasty grandmother’s false teeth take on symbolic power, and a female dwarf from the 17th century pursues an octogenarian at Starbucks – all serve as prime examples.
With Ward’s stories you can always expect the unexpected and be assured that his intentions are not frivolous.