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The Memory of a Salt Shaker (The Space Within These Lines Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Bernard M. Cox
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Bert discovers the salt in an ordinary salt shaker gives him the power to see his life through the eyes of his deceased wife. This magical realist short story is the first story in The Space Within These Lines collection exploring memory and loss in an effort to show that which connects all people, the power of love.

The Memory of a Salt Shaker first appeared November 2011 in issue 15 of Up The Staircase Quarterly and was nominated by the editorial staff for the 2012 Million Writers Award.

Cover design by Sabine Krauss
Photo by Robyn Oliver

Total page count 20

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 156 KB
  • Print Length: 23 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AA2JXB0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,280,525 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Bernard M. Cox is the author of The Memory of a Salt Shaker, The Space Within These Lines Is Not Dedicated, and La Chanson de l'Observation.

He is a graduate of the MFA Creative Writing program at Roosevelt University. He has taught screenwriting, literature and composition; curated an experimental music concert series called FeedBack; ran a staged reading series for screenwriters; and served on the Board of Directors of the University City Arts League in Philadelphia.

He is the former Assistant Artistic Director for the Tamale Hut Café Reading Series in North Riverside,

His writing has appeared in A cappella Zoo, Blood and Lullabies, Collective Fallout, Crack the Spine, Red Lightbulbs, and Up the Staircase Quarterly.

Visit him at

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving story of loss 23 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A compelling and enjoyable short story. Like the best magic realism it takes a simple idea - that the memories of a lost love are stored inside a little salt shaker - and uses it to explore more complex human qualities. It is written with a staccato style of writing that suits the story nicely, using tiny sentences like tiny grains of salt. A moving story of loss, thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memory 30 Dec. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I was contacted by Bernard and asked if I'd like to read Memory of a Salt Shaker, and how thankful I am. It's a really well-written story of a man grieving for a loved one, and the moments that define a relationship. I enjoyed Bernard's unique approach to the story, and I applaud him for leaving me moved at the end.

This is not one to miss!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Affecting, understated tale of bereavement 17 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this on my Kindle iPad app, not being quite certain how I had acquired it: perhaps as a free promotional copy in some late-night book-downloading spree, or maybe I saw it reviewed in a newspaper or blog and took a punt.

It details, in a clipped and spare manner, the progressive mental and physical disintegration of Bert, a thirtysomething American lawyer whose wife, a teacher, has been murdered in a heartbreakingly senseless attack by two young pupils at her school, angry at the confiscation of an iPhone. The author delivers an effective, economical portrayal of the numb shock of bereavement, and the submerging of the psyche that may afflict the bereaved. Bert's only physical connection with his dead wife is a workaday object, a salt-shaker that she took from a diner on their honeymoon. Tasting the salt somehow allows him to access memories of their life together (yet from her point of view, not his). However unlikely this is, I found it didn't matter too much in the context of the story.

Not being an American (let alone a New Yorker) or overly familiar currently with American culture and speech, I wasn't able to fill in the sounds, sights and smells mostly absent from the prose (which is, I guess deliberate), I still found the story affecting and a little moving, yet not uncomfortably so. Overall, I found it quite a tasteful and understated piece, like something that unexpectedly draw you in from your routine, read in a short timeslot on Radio 4 (or NPR) late one evening. I was surprised in the end by how much I liked it, as I considered giving up a couple of times, despite it being very short. Although the tone is one of sadness, I don't feel that the book is likely to cause feelings of depression, and ends on a positive (yet still understated note). Recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a bit wierd but strangely satisfying 10 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ends to soon but worth a read there is no real conclusions but maybe there doesn't need to be ....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Different 27 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was quite taken by this quaint little tale. Although I don't usually read short stories or novellas I thought this author is good at his trade.
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