life rattle show no. 1373

Presented on friday, april 29, 2016


hosted by laurie kallis


"Fighting Back"
by Peter Ham

tonight's Show

Life Rattle Number 1373 features two stories by new Life Rattle writer Peter Ham.

Peter Ham was born on September 13, 1994 in Seoul, South Korea. In 2001, his family moved to Mississauga, Canada, where he has lived since. Peter first attended university to study economics, and then transferred to linguistics. He writes both short non-fiction and longer fantasy fiction stories. When he is not writing, Peter Ham enjoys playing video games, walking his dog, and figuring out new recipes to cook for dinner—usually to his family’s chagrin.

The two stories we feature tonight are extraordinary examples of concise prose. Peter Ham’s talent for presenting a fully nuanced story in an almost minimalist fashion stunned me on first read. Month’s later, I’m still smitten with his writing, and the characters he introduced me to are still alive in my mind.

Both stories bring home the isolation and torment experienced by new Canadian boy...who still longs for the life he lived in South Korea.

“Alone” introduces us to our narrator in the school yard, during lunch. Bored and alone, he spends his lunch recess at school because his mother wants him to make friends. His mother doesn’t comprehend the lonely existence her son must bear at his new school.

"Fighting Back" like the first story, is set at school. Although it takes place a few years later a strong connection binds the two stories thematically. Our narrator is still tormented by his schoolmates, one in particular in this story. Years of frustration and pain rise up in a burst of pure anger when he is pushed too far. And yet, we are still very conscious of the vulnerable boy at the centre of the violence.