New book of stories released

It’s out! Eileen Kramer’s latest book has been published and is now available internationally through online retailers.

Elephants and Other Stories was written from lockdown in Sydney in 2020 with the help of editor Catherine Gray. The result is a charming 234-page hardcover book, with colour illustrations featuring Eileen’s drawings and photographs. A biographical overview adds context to the stories, drawn as they are from Eileen’s long and creative life across Australia, India, Europe and the US.

As Sue Healey says in the foreword:

“The stories in this book attest to both the spirit that has animated Eileen for 106 years and her quirky yet acute powers of observation. They celebrate the small moments in a life – everyday happenings that, it looked at in the right light, dance with magic.”

Although many of the stories in the collection are based on real experiences and real people, Eileen’s imagination takes them further.

“I write not only about what happened,” she says, “but also what comes to my mind. In my stories people can fly and change shape and do other unusual or extraordinary things.”

Life on the road with the Bodenwieser Ballet in the 1940s is woven into a tale of romance involving a mystical horse, and a journey through the Indian jungle on the way to Goa is interrupted by a tiger – or is it a man?

An earthworm is rescued as it crosses a hot road in the south of France, and a bedraggled monkey from a Paris market finds a new home thanks to a well-connected public relations man from the world of haute-couture.

There’s an encounter with silent movie star Gloria Swanson over a glove fitting at Tiffany’s in New York, and an adventure in Soho involving nightclub dancers in raincoats, a missing briefcase and a mysterious artist’s model.

You’ll meet a thieving crow on a terrace in Mumbai, and a swarm of West Virginian bees that live underground – what will they do when they temporarily lose their queen?

And elephants? Well, maybe they should be running the world …

Elephants and Other Stories is available internationally through online bookstores – search for it to find the best price in your area. In Australia, try Booktopia.

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