I first became aware of British flash fiction master Nik Perring with the publication of Not So Perfect, his collection of short short stories published in 2010. That particular book was, in fact, also my introduction to the whole concept of flash fiction. As I mentioned at the time, I was fascinated by a book from which I could read an entire story while sitting at one of the many traffic lights I encounter every day. Then Perring’s beautifully illustrated Freaks, a collection of stories featuring some of the most unique freaks and superheroes imaginable, came along – and I was hooked for sure.
And now there is Beautiful Trees, the second book in a trilogy that will ultimately include Beautiful Words, Beautiful Trees, and Beautiful Shapes. As in the past, the author’s words are supplemented by illustrations that help bring the stories to life. This is a picture book for adults, the story of Lily and Alexander, two people who love each other very much and often mark the milestones of their relationship through their shared love of trees.
|Author Nik Perring at a Beautiful Trees Signing|
In one of the more poignant scenes of the book, for instance, Alexander brings a dwarf cherry tree to Lily’s sickbed because of how another cherry tree played such a significant role in the couple’s first meeting. In fear of spoiling Beautiful Trees for others, I’m going to stop here. Let’s just say that Nik Perring packs a lot of emotion and understanding of relationships into the relatively few pages he allows himself to tell his story. And that is why I call Nik Perring one of the masters of flash fiction.
Nik is a young man with an old soul – and I love his work for that very reason.