Volume 10: The Suburbs

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Riptide Volume 10 – The Suburbs – is a collection of stories, life-writing and poetry exploring suburbia in all its manifestations. In his foreword Michael Rosen, who confesses to having suffered from ‘suburbophobia’ in his teenage years, says that ‘these fascinating stories and poems show a diversity that resists’ the picture of the suburbs as “one culture, one class, one type of house’.

Read extract and view issue contents below.








The 6.13 Ladies’ Special

Susmita Bhattacharya

The 6:13 Ladies’ Special creates a phenomenon of biblical origins on the suburban train stations of Mumbai: the parting of the Red Sea. As soon as the announcement crackles over the noise and clamour of commuters waiting to return home, there are two distinctly opposite reactions to it. An audible grunt of impatience from the men, who have to step back, grudging the minutes lost in the rush back home. And a sigh of relief from the women, who triumphantly step up to the front. The Ladies Special glides in, and with a cacophony of screams and shouts to match no other, a surge of women sweep into the train. This is the daily commute on the suburban local trains for most people living and working in Mumbai.


Table of Contents

Foreword – Michael Rosen v

Parts – Philip Gross

From the Roof Top – Simone Davy 2

The Colour of the Night – Virginia Baily 14

Crying Under a Bush – Giselle Leeb 16

The Wagtails of Imberhorne – Annie Freud 21

Duty of Care – Mary Read 22

Ophelia on the Ward – Anna Kisby 27

Frog’s Hollow – Ariella Van Luyn 28

Ladywood 1977 – Frank Dullaghan 38

The 6.13 Ladies’ Special – Susmita Bhattacharya 39

Carer – Jacky Tarleton 44

Buying the House in Canal Park Estates – William Merrill Decker 45

The Cut – Sally Flint 51

How I Fixed the Foxes – Alexander Knights 52

The Outskirts – Andy Brown 66

Grimaldi – Erinna Mettler 69

The Cellar – Krishan Coupland 75

Carnival – Tom Garrod 76

Afterwards: Three Poems after Klee – Anthony Wilson 85

The World in Passing – Lauren Hayhurst 89

The Zobole Suite – Tony Curtis 95

Heights – Richard Smyth 99

Thistledown on Reydon Marshes, Cricket on the Head, Aube – Peter Carpenter 112

Contributors 115