Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

Stick No Bills

by Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Shorter Reads Books of the Month Star Books Literary Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of Stick No Bills

This exceptional collection of twenty-two richly-observed, richly-atmospheric Caribbean-set short stories stirs the spirit as it provokes thought.

All twenty-two of the short stories included in Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw’s stunning Caribbean-set Stick No Bills are rich in atmosphere and thought-provoking observational detail. Cutting to the core of their characters’ states and situations, lingering long, and possessing the power of a Siren’s call to draw readers back for multiple readings, these stories are masterworks of the form.

Vibrant with humanity and emotional ambiguities and truths, each story is a finely drawn vignette. The author’s characterisation is first-class; her painterly observations and details of place and psychological states profoundly affecting. Take 'Killing Time', for example, in which a young Trinidadian woman coins the term “lostfulness” to describe her uncertain state of being and relinquishes her dream of becoming a writer - the ending made my heart flip.

Some of the stories are only a few paragraphs long, and yet these too bear tremendous power. 82, for example, unpacks an entire existence in its chain of 82 words. In these shortest pieces, Walcott-Hackshaw conveys the feeling of existing within particular moments with brilliant dynamism - fleeting flashes of thought, or poignant reflection, or anticipation of what will come next. The eponymous story, 'Stick No Bills', is an exquisite example of this, capturing as it does the cycle of life and motherhood as a woman ponders the imminent departures of her daughter and mother with heart-aching precision, and all prompted by observing a “stick no bills” notice on an ice factory she first saw during her childhood.

While the stories exude multiple moods, together they form an exquisite whole, united by finely-threaded themes of family, loss, the passing of time, ponderings on the past, and possible futures.

Joanne Owen

Stick No Bills Synopsis

In the opening story, sharply observed details of a walk through a St Lucian coastal town to an ageing uncle’s house, chance encounters that trigger memories, a cell-phone call from home in Trinidad, the way an incident – like refusing a lift on the way to the house – becomes part of the enlivening narrative of the day, all cover with the myriad details of pulsing life what is really a story about mourning the death of the character’s mother. In this, and a sequence of stories that chart the playful delights of childhood family holidays with uncles, aunts and cousins and the break-up of those connections through deaths and the passage of time, there is a fine balance between recording the feelings of desolation and the pleasures of reconstructing the joys of the past through art and memory. 


As well as the stories written as “I” and “she”, Stick No Bills confirms Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw’s lethal talent for inventing characters – like the journalist who has been pursuing a famous writer at a literary conference in Haiti, or the would-be writer who is finding a workshop less than rewarding – who have only a partial awareness of their ability to deceive themselves, or see the painful humour of their situations. 

The collection, through its organisation of individual stories into an artfully constructed whole, offers a richly consoling passage through griefs of various kinds towards a sense of continuance and human resilience.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781845234676
Publication date: 29th October 2020
Author: Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw
Publisher: Peepal Tree Press Ltd
Format: Paperback
Collections: 31 Unforgettable Books by Caribbean Writers - Book-aneers of the Caribbean, 80+ Must-read Novels by Black Writers - Black Lit Matters, 50+ Beautifully Written Books,
Primary Genre Modern and Contemporary Fiction
Other Genres:
Win a Brilliant Orenda Book Bundle!

Win a Brilliant Orenda Book Bundle!

Closing date: 30/06/2021

We're teaming up once again with Orenda to offer another brilliant book giveaway! Not only is a bundle of Orenda Books up for grabs, we also have a £15 voucher for the winner to use on Orenda's new look website! This book bundle will include some of their latest releases from April to June. A fantastic opportunity to stock your bookshelves. The titles up for grabs are: The Source be Sarah Sultoon - Published 15th April Facets of Death by Michael Stanley - Published 29th April The Assistant by Kjell Ola Dahl - Published 13th May This is How We Are Human by Louise Beech - Published 10th June Everything Happens for a Reason by Katie Allen - Published 10th June One Last Time by Helga Flatland - Published 24th June This draw is open only for UK residents currently in the UK and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. The draw closes on 30th June 2021. Please ensure that the details you use to enter the competition will be correct at the time the competition ends. The winners will be notified as soon as possible.

Enter Now

Like For Like Featured Books

Look at Me
The Pre-War House and Other Stories
Homesick for Another World
Mischief Fay Weldon Selects Her Best Short Stories

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781845234676
Publication date: 29/10/2020
Format: Paperback

View All Editions

More Books By Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw

Stick No Bills
Stick No Bills
View All Books By Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw

Share this book