Fighting It


Fighting It‘a truly fabulous collection’
Louise Welsh, Introduction

A woman revolutionary, a woman in prison, a husband seeking revenge, a child driven to sin – they are all ‘fighting it’, battling to retain their belief in themselves.
No mere slices of life, the stories in this second collection by award-winning Scottish-Swiss author Regi Claire have the range and depth of whole novels. They give voice to men and women who seem otherwise condemned to suffer in silence and whose struggles we recognise as our own. Sometimes with humour, sometimes in despair they cry out, clamouring for our attention. Claire’s prose is edgy and vibrant and, whether set in the ice-cool beauty of the Swiss mountains, the heat of Tenerife, the urban frenzy of Paris, Zurich or Edinburgh, her tales are at once deeply disturbing and almost unbearably compassionate.




‘The stories in Fighting It are so finely wrought that it can be a surprise to realise how short some of them are. These are whole universes captured in a drop of water. Claire allows us access into the heart of lives and people unmet. And even though we may be very different form the individuals we encounter between these pages, we can gain a moment of shared humanity with them. Not simply because Regi Claire grants us privileged access to their worlds and psyches but because we are all up against something and every one of us fighting it, Fighting It. This is a truly fabulous collection.’
Louise Welsh, Introduction

‘Claire’s virtuosity lies in her range. (…). While so many authors tend to stick to a particular subculture, Claire … roams the length and breadth of Europe … all ages, all classes. It is as if she is saying that wherever you come from, when we are up against a wall and fighting it, we are all similar animals. … There is nothing ordinary about these tales. They are all extraordinary.’
Vicky Allen, Sunday Herald

‘Her prose has a cut glass quality. Clear and crisp as Alpine air, it refracts the light at startling angles, illuminates the singular, the striking detail, turns a flashlight on the dark corners of the psyche, and manages not to flinch.’
Alison Miller, Scottish Review of Books
read full review (Volume 5 Issue 2 – please scroll down ‘Reviews’)

‘This is typical of Claire’s style: the everyday and the unpredictable mixed with confidence.’
Rozalind Dineen, Times Literary Supplement

‘…startlingly different… You will not read these stories without being deeply affected… heartrending…’
Elspeth Brown, Markings

‘Louise Welsh calls Fighting It a “truly fabulous collection”, and I’d have to agree. For vivid insights into the human spirit under stress, I’d highly recommend Fighting It.’
Lisa Glass, Vulpes Libris
read full review

‘Reading the whole collection was like the best kind of journey’
Sarah Salway, Short Review
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‘The stories in Fighting It … are intense, heartbreaking and unforgettable … And I’m not just saying this because Regi is my wife!’
Ron Butlin, Scotsman

‘Like a prize-fighter, Claire bursts out of her corner with the story that gives the book its name and knocks us off balance. She gives instant access to character, location and mood, throwing the reader into the muscular arms of inimitable protagonists, and provides toned and buffed imagination, independent of technical trickery or contemporary fads. (…)
Claire’s stories unnerve, but subtly. (…) Of all the sixteen stories, I most enjoyed this one [“Diessenhofen Bridge”] for its execution and its deadly induction of sympathy and dislike for Leon, the main character, who is realised with enormous sensitivity. “Invisible Partners” boasts wonderful imagery that affects with its poignancy – such as a woman of seventy-one, curious about death, seeing her hand “curled around empty air”. And in “Because You Foreign”, images and icons work to excellent effect, uniting to nourish the theme, and to tantalise. I was moved to tears by “The Marilyn Monroe of the Meadows”, a love letter to a dying dog. It is beautiful, restrained, truthful, perfect.
In this always enjoyable collection, Claire’s representations of the variety of human experience are spell-binding; you emerge from her spell slightly dazed, senses well-exercised, for you too have been “fighting it”.’
Patricia McCaw, Edinburgh Review

‘Most of the narrators and protagonists in Fighting It, Regi Claire’s new collection, are on the edge, struggling against something, fighting… “it”. “It” might be illness or the effects of bereavement. It might be ignorance or intolerance, an unwillingness to forget or forgive. Claire is an exceptionally gifted writer who can provoke the most sluggish brain to thought and move the hardest heart. I’m no dog lover, but I finished “The Marilyn Monroe of the Meadows”, a story about a dying golden retriever told mainly in the second person, with a certain stinging sensation behind the eyes.’
Nicholas Royle

‘Regi Claire is a writer of compassion and determination. Her stories are filled with the details of pain and physical bewilderment and leavened with tenderness.’
A L Kennedy

‘…gripping, moving and disturbing (in the best possible sense of the word). I hesitate to use the word “brave” because it might sound patronising, but the courage [Claire has] in going into such unnerving places – places that are latent in us all – is daunting. … Hauntingly beautiful. … I love this collection. Alison Kennedy says it all!’
Joyce Gunn Cairns MBE, artist

‘A truly wonderful collection:  sharp-edged emotion, finely portrayed with deep humanity.  Every story has it own atmosphere but there’s an underlying unity.  I loved them… The book is also well-produced with elegant design.  A class act, indeed.’
Malcolm McCallum, guitar/vocals, The Hobblers

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