Of Gifts of Unknown Provenance


Our Story of the Week is a tempting story from the writer Sophie van Llewyn.

Sophie is a Romanian-born author of short stories, flash fiction and, most recently, a novella Bottled Goods, coming on 11 July from Fairlight Books.

Sophie grew up in Tulcea, south-east Romania, close to the Danube delta. She is now living in Germany. While on maternity leave from her day job, Sophie discovered flash fiction through Ad Hoc Fiction Press. She jumped into this storytelling method with workshops and extensive reading.

Sophie came across the concept of novella-in-flash by reading Rose Metal Press’ collection My Very End of the Universe, and was eager to try it for herself. Soon after, Sophie was publishing short stories in various publications, such as The Guardian, New Delta Review, Ambit, Litro, and many others. She has also won and been longlisted for a number of competitions. Last year, Sophie was nominated for The Pushcart Prize.

In Of Gifts of Unknown Provenance, Sophie explores the complicated relationship of a mother and a daughter.


It looks excitingly modern. Its keys are white, except for the first one in the second row, which is red. I turn the round black handle and the cold plastic sends shivers down my spine and at the same time ignites a warm feeling in the depths of my stomach. Yes. This is how I will roll them out. Then I will pile them up and climb one piece of paper at a time towards my dream.

In the other corner of the table, my mother is arranging her fur hat, smiling. The self-sufficiency I read on her face reminds me I should take everything that comes from her with a grain of salt. Up until now, dealing with her was like dealing with the devil – the costs always surpassed the benefits, like comparing Everest with a mole hill.Read more…