Strawberries and Other Secrets is a short story anthology published in 1970. Edited and selected by James A. MacNeill and Glen A. Sorestad, the book is separated into five units named for the motifs in the stories they encompass: experiences in conflict, the unknown, laughter, suspense, and human feelings.
This anthology is well-put together and gives a refreshing overview of several genres and styles in the matter of 207 pages, all while remaining loosely and comfortably connected. The introductions for each unit show this tastefully: for example, the transition between “the unknown” to “laughter” states: “The unexpected is only one of the situations in life that prompt laughter,” which does a nice job of directing the reader to leave the fantasy realm, albeit while he/she looks behind. The title is clever, too. It suggests that the mundane (the strawberries, comparable to reality) and the exciting (the secrets, comparable to fiction) are really one and the same. I think the editors compiled this collection to celebrate the empathic power of stories – how they reflect life – as they help us become “sharers of experience” (introduction). For example, three stories with death as a plot point address it through different lenses: “Mirror of Ice” shows terror and anxiety, “Leiningen Versus the Ants” shows courage, and “Lather and Nothing Else” shows virtue and morality. All three represent the anthology’s goal to share experiences, while adding something unexpected and new.