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IZ Digital reviews Pomegranates

Some recent retellings of Greek myths have sought to restore the female voice that the original sources – and some other modern retellings – have neglected or deliberately devalued. But Pomegranates does not quite fit with Pat Barker’s take on the IliadThe Silence of the Girls, nor with Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad or Madeline Miller’s Circe – not because it is a lesser work, but because it is doing something slightly different. In its fearless, energetic combination of myth and reality it recalls Steven Sherrill’s The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break, and like that book it is infused with sadness and wry humour (a brief appearance by a preening Hermes is very funny). But it seeks to cut through the sanitised versions of these myths and, peeling away those layers, finds horror and rage and hope, much like the stories in Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber. There are also hints that the three narrative strands are even more closely linked than they appear: as in Neil Gaiman’s The Kindly Ones, it may be that whether something is myth or reality is a matter of perception. Also, as in that work, the key unifying note here is grief: grief for a lost child, for a lost mother (Bear’s mother, also a Dr. Ursa), and for a lost world.

Alex Glass reviews Pomegranates for Interzone Digital

Thanks to Alex Glass for his review of Pomegranates. You can read the full review here.

Buy Pomegranates in hardback or ebook.


Interview with the British Fantasy Society

Thanks to Shona Kinsella, Chair of the BFS, for inviting me to join an online day of readings, interviews, and discussion.

More info can be found here.

SFBook review of Pomegranates

Classic fantasy re-imagines the wonder and magic of myth and legend, but often avoids the meaning behind the ancient stories. The cultures that lurk behind the hubris of Gods and Goddesses are often more important than the stories themselves. Sharma’s reinvention of a classic narrative into a comment on the assumptions and excuses made by re-tellers of those myths and by the audiences that heard them offers something new.

Allen Stroud for SFBook

My thanks to Allen Stroud, and also Antony James of SFBook for reviewing my novella. Read the full review here.

Buy eBook / hardback.

Review of Pomegranates

A few years ago I had the pleasure of reading Priya Sharma’s Ormeshadow, a dark story about family secrets. So when she asked me to read Pomegranates, I didn’t even hesitate. This time, the author has written a dystopian tale that weaves together themes of global warming and climate change with well known characters from Greek mythology. This was such a surprising story, beautifully constructed and written, and I can’t recommend it highly enough, especially if you are a fan of the Greek gods. 

Books, Bones & Buffy

My huge thanks to Tammy Sparks for reviewing my novella for her website. You can read the full review here.


Contemporary Gothic Reading Group 2023

The Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies runs a regular Contemporary Gothic Reading Group.

This year there will be four sessions, each online, ticketed, and free to attend.

I am very excited that my short story collection in one of the four books featured.

Tickets are available from eventbrite. The session should last approximately 90 minutes.

Our first session will take place on the 31st of May, when we will discuss Priya Sharma’s award-winning collection of short stories All the Fabulous Beasts (2018). This session will take on board the entire collection but will place special emphasis on ‘The Crow Palace’, ‘The Ballad of Boomtown’ and ‘Fabulous Beasts’. We are also delighted to announce that the author has agreed to join us for the last third of the discussion and will be happy to take questions from attendees.


These free sessions, which we run in the summer months, give us a chance to explore the prominent role of the Gothic in modern and contemporary culture. Come along for a relaxed conversation among enthusiasts and avid readers.


The session will be led by one of our postgraduate Gothic researchers and will take place online over Teams (the link will be made available after a ticket is booked). There is no need to prepare questions or reviews. Please just turn up on the day ready to chat about the book.


This reading group is open to everyone, but please note that regular attendees tend to be postgraduate researchers and members of staff. For this reason, the group might not suit total beginners.

From the eventbrite page

Locus Review of Pomegranates

Priya Sharma’s latest novella, Pomegran­ates, is a lovely, layered, and luscious retelling of the story of Persephone and Demeter, unfolding against the backdrop of climate change and patriarchal violence. While Greek mythology has been in vogue at least since the success of Rick Riordan’s bestselling Percy Jackson books, Sharma’s novella sits closer to books like Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad, Madeline Miller’s Circe, or Natsuo Kirino’s The Goddess Chronicle, all of which employ a detached, feminine voice in rewriting myth and registering tragedy.

Archita Mittra writing for Locus

Read the whole review here.

My thanks to Archita Mittra for her review.

Available direct from PS Publishing in ebook and hardback.


The Art of Ravi Amar Zupa

Ravi Zupa considers books the best way to experience art. He has spent decades studying books about the art, mythology, religion, and history of cultures from across geography and time. Entirely self-taught, Zupa looks to works by German Renaissance printmakers, Flemish primitives, abstract expressionists, Japanese woodblock artists, and Mughal painters for inspiration. He also frequently incorporates religious iconography from Europe, Asia, and Pre-Columbian Latin America with revolutionary propaganda from around the world. With a distaste for ironic art or the thoughtless appropriation of culture, he integrates seemingly unrelated images in search of something universal. Zupa does not create any of his art digitally; everything comes from his own hand.

From Ravi’s Website

I love these, especially the print of Hanuman. It’s from a story from The Ramayana. When Lakshmana lay dying from battle wounds, his only hope was a herb that grew in the Himalayas.Being so swift, Hanuman was sent to fetch it. Unsure of what plant to bring, Hanuman brought back the entire mountain, saving his friend.


Hypnos Edition 14

Tra case infestate e famiglie terribili, ecco il nuovo numero della rivista Hypnos, che si apre con Il vitreo ardente fondo dell’Inferno di Brian Evenson, e che prosegue con i racconti Cambiano le prospettive al mondo di Carlo Salvoni, Molte altre terre di Helen Simpson, Berryhill del pirotecnico R.A. Lafferty e due storie di Federigo Tozzi, Un’allucinazione e La vinaia.

Il numero si completa con il breve saggio Quando parliamo di fantastico, di Cristiano Demicheli, e con un’intervista a Priya Sharma, autrice del romanzo breve Ormeshadow.

From the Hypnows Edizioni website

Thanks to Andrea Vaccaro of Hypnos Edizioni for including me in Edition 14 with an interview by Laura Sestri.


Locus magazine review

Review of Pomegranates for Locus magazine.

“While a part of me wishes that there was more to this world and for the tale to go on, another part of me is astounded by Sharma’s ability to hint at so much with so few words. Deliciously evocative, carefully constructed, and filled with just enough detail to keep the reader turning the page. Pomegranates is a book which can be finished in a single sitting, but deserves to be savoured more slowly. It will appeal not only to fans of feminist retelling of myths and folklore, but to anyone on the lookout for a quiet and beautiful novella.” – Archita Mittra

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Locus magazine’s 2022 Recommended Reading List

Thanks to anyone who suggested that “Pomegranates”, my new novella from PS Publishing, be included on Locus magazine’s 2022 Recommended Reading List.

Thanks also to editor Marie O’Regan and to PS Publishing.

“Pomegranates” is available in hardback and as an ebook here.

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