Rage/Love: A Collection of Microtales by Rohitha Perera

Rage/Love: A Collection of Microtales by Rohitha Perera consists of 112 tales that touch on themes that are inspired by horror, mystery, rage, love, hate, bullying, infidelity and magic. 

Partly written during the Covid-19 pandemic, the collection caters to the idea of escapism. The collection falls under a mixed genre that blends Romance and Horror. Perera stated: “One must be generous with their art in order to connect. Generosity aside, as a writer, I write for myself firstly, and then for others. It is also a reflection of my authenticity, and a way to connect. Writing like other art forms is an expression of self; penning this book was a way to honour the urge of expression.”

Writing is a consequence of reading. A lifelong fan of Stephen King, Haruki Murakami, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Paulo Coelho and Yukio Mishima, Perera explores various themes that belong in the central parts of the human psyche. Drawing inspiration from philosophers like Nietzsche and artists like Frida Kahlo, the collection is a creative journey that deals with myriad themes.

While long-form fiction is the norm, nanofiction falls under the domain of unconventional storytelling. With the large amounts of information present today, time is a limited resource when it comes to media consumption. Instagram with its Reels, Snapchat and Twitter have popularized the consumption of ideas and entertainment in bite-sized clips. Perera went on to say: “There’s nothing like a great story whatever the genre it falls into, but more tales in one book would be an attractive proposition to any reader.”

Rage/Love: A Collection of Microtales deals with two central emotions that occupy the human psyche -– rage and love. Under the veil of fiction, the book provides 112 microtales of certain situations that deal with the human condition of expressing rage and love. 

Questions and Love deal with infatuation; Just Transit, Kindness Tied My Shoelaces, and A Tender-Hearted Moment speaks of the tenderness of love.  So Alike, Hate and Simmer highlight the horrors of love and infidelity. Fantasy and Science Fiction are the themes in Retirement, Mista Dubald and Hello Oken, Please Switch Off The Lights.

Tales of vampires, zombies, family trauma, infidelity, mutant powers and ghosts coupled with cannibalism and murder are part and parcel of a mosaic of entertainment contained in 112 short tales, some of which take on the form of prose poetry. 

The cover art by Dillai Joseph, an artist specializing in pastel, water colour, oils and acrylic, is an indulgent ode to abstract realism a la Dimitra Milan. Inspired by the book, the finished product took a month to finish. The cover art is her visualization of the duality of human emotion that resides in all of us. The cover is mixed media using soft pastel, and acrylic done on pastel paper. The acrylic was worked on with a palette knife.

Published by Jam Fruit Tree Publications, which is run by Jeremy Muller, Rage/Love: A Collection of Microtales is a work of fiction that is an example of the increasing demand for self publishing in the local context. Jam Fruit Tree Publications has published in excess of 100 books that transcend multiple genres.

Rage/Love: A Collection of Microtales by Rohitha Perera is available on Kobo. 

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