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Sunday 30 September 2012

Alter by KL Hughes


Brilliant short story. I was captivated right from the beginning by Christian Perry, a 40-year-old man living with multiple split-personality.  His childhood was scarred by tragedy, but with pathetic irony, his memoirs of his youth catapult him to literary success. But his daily struggle with his illness and his battle with the effects of the drugs to control it contribute to his downward spiral towards destitution. With a masterpiece to complete, he has to fight the need to take medication which disable his ability to write clearly and silence his alters, or abandon it for the lucidity he needsbut risk animating those alters.

This is wonderfully written; it’s fluent, expressive, touching and emotional, and in only a few pages you feel for this complex, love-starved, mentally ill and brilliant man. Hughes is an excellent writer—she writes with intensity and understanding. I hope she writes a full-length novel—I was disappointed to come to the end of this story and her writing.

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