(2 customer reviews)


INSTEAD is a new collection of short stories for adults to follow RAVELLED and WOKEN.

There are stories set in the past and in the present, and you will notice a range of styles – but no fairy tales or fables this time, no fantasy or magic realism. With INSTEAD I’m keeping it real. Whatever the arc, genre or seed of each story, I believe they all offer hope as well as humanity – because if we are to make a better world to share, then humanity is where hope lies.

“Vivid, sensitive” “deeply tender” “delicate humour” ” richly-drawn characters” “all managed without sentimentality or sordidness, revealing Sue Hampton’s supreme skill in the art of the short story”

“superb” “poignant, evocative, haunting” “Sue Hampton’s characters draw you in, leaving you asking more of them; their fragility makes them all the more real – all the more like us. Wonderful.”

Click here to buy the e-book at £2.99.

Here’s the start of a review by award-winning book blogger, Linda Hill:

“Sue Hampton is an astounding writer. She takes the constrained boundaries of the short story in Instead and makes them into something magical. Within a very few words Sue Hampton draws in the reader and immerses them in the lives of her characters who feel real, human and flawed. This is such beautifully crafted writing that I can see myself returning to the collection time and again and finding something new each visit; a nuance, a meaning, a feeling that I may have missed the first time. The stories in Instead seem to operate on many levels.
Sue Hampton writes with what feels to me like great humanity. ”





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2 reviews for Instead

  1. Rick Cross

    I encountered Sue Hampton’s fiction first through her terrific work on DOCTOR WHO spinoffs, especially her whimsical, glorious contributions to THE LUCY WILSON MYSTERIES — but it was her first pair of original short-story anthologies, RAVELLED and WOKEN, that hooked me on her astonishing, uplifting, stellar catalog. Sue writes gracefully, elegantly and invariably achieves a linguistic proficiency that leaves me not just engrossed in her stories but soaring with delight at her wordplay, dumbfounded with bliss at the rhythm and poetry of it. She’s a wordsmith of the first order.

    In her new anthology, INSTEAD, Sue delivers a series of grounded, wholly engrossing tales as rich as any full-length novel. She embodies and ensouls a quiet, thoughtful teen boy or a bitterly pragmatic young courtesan as effortlessly as she does a rape survivor or a seventysomething grandmother and social activist. “Dear Mother” and “A Different Kind of Faith” are body-blows, poignant and vividly realized, and the latter may be one of the most exquisitely painful yet lovely short stories I’ve ever read. “The Activist” is a jaw-dropping study of the physical and emotional impact of championing a cause at very nearly any cost. And “The Pomegranate Flower,” my favorite of this new set, left me utterly floored, feeling the way I did the first time I read Michael Chabon, Toni Morrison, Don DeLillo, Wally Lamb.

    INSTEAD, like RAVELLED and WOKEN before it, feels like a whole new literary landscape, the emergence of a strong voice so clear, so recognizable and yet so fresh and original, I want to beg Sue for more – and perhaps also to tackle the kind of epic novel limned so effortlessly in every one of these stories, each profound in its universal human dramas and small everyday miracles and moments of exquisite grace.

    Sue Hampton is a simply immense talent, an unforgettable voice. Listen to her. Oh, find one of these tomes (or all of them) and just LISTEN. You’ll be glad you did.

  2. Jill Hipson

    I read ‘The Activist’, from the short story collection ‘Instead’ a couple of nights ago and am still mulling over it. I am profoundly moved by the story with its richness and depth. The sheer love and delight that Lily takes in her grandchildren. The warm-hearted humour in the way Sue describes her at the beginning, devising activities for them to make sure they grow up with the right sort of ideals. And the commitment she makes to go on hunger strike – and the indifference of the Establishment to her suffering or the suffering of the children in Yemen. The ghost-like reality she comes to inhabit as her hunger strike goes on, and the brutality of the end……… and then the return to normality.

    It is a wonderful story; one of Sue’s most memorable.

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