A few years ago I briefly subscribed to The Scottish Review of Books. It introduced me to some authors I had never heard of, the most memorable being Agnes Owens. Agnes Owens could be compared to Charles Bukowski; she writes about the indigent, homeless, semi-homeless alcoholics, drug addicts and all around lowlifes. To compare her to someone else, however, cheapens her unique qualities. Her first short story, Arabella, is, by turns, horrifying, repellent and hilarious. She has a memorable view of the human condition.
If I have read correctly, Ms. Owens has been a house cleaner among other low paying jobs. I don't know her state right now, but I get the distinct feeling that she writes from experience in telling tales of dole-cheaters and boozy layabouts. She has had several novels published in the U.S., but I have not read them as yet. She is one of those hidden treasures that people thrill to discover. Truthfully, some people I have urged to read her stories have come back to me puzzled. They recognized her talent but did not appreciate it as much as I. One can only hope her day will come.