Press: Port Perry Star – Scugog author weaves 24 short stories together in debut novel

 In Reviews & Press


The Marzipan Fruit Basket, penned by Lucy E.M. Black, is a collection of fictional short stories wrapped together in 146 pages that delves into the challenges women face and their life journeys.

While Black has been writing for 20 years and has had half of her works printed in various publications over the past decade, The Marzipan Fruit Basket marks the first time her stories have been printed in book format.

The book, says Black, is about “women who come to terms with the difficult realities in their lives and how they make adjustments” when faced with challenges such as loss, abuse, and illness.

“They’re fictional stories with a moment of truth,” she explains.

Black is currently the principal at Brock High School and has previously worked at Uxbridge Secondary School and Port Perry High School. She’s lived in Port Perry for the past four years.

She studied creative writing at the undergraduate level and earned an M.A. in 19th-century British fiction.

Her works have been published in Cyphers Magazine, Under The Gum Tree, the Hawai’i Review, Vintage Script, and the Antigonish Review.

“It was an interesting and exciting experience,” says Black of the work that went into producing her debut book of short stories. “People were very generous and very kind.”

Each of the stories are a quick read, about four to six pages in length.

“It was interesting to see which (stories) the editors (chose). Some of the stories they left out I thought were really good,” she says, hinting that a sequel may be in the cards.

“There’s lots more to tell.”

According to Black: “The stories in this collection are unified by a sense of dislocation. In each of these exquisite pieces, an underlying element of disturbance and disharmony threads its way through the narrative, while the characters struggle to navigate conscious choices and come to terms with new realities. Their voices are driven by perspective that views the complexity of life journeys as a manifestation of intentional decisions, circumstances beyond one’s control, and the need to reflect upon the combination of both in order to become fully realized.”
 Black also plans to release a historical fiction novel in September based on a true story about an Irish woman who moves to a small farm in Cartwright Township (current-day Blackstock) in the 1870s.

The Marzipan Fruit Basket is available for just under $20 at Books Galore and More (175 Perry St., Port Perry) and Blue Heron Books (62 Brock St. W.). It an also be purchased online at or