Tag Archives: Fiction

The Unsung Letter No. 37

This week, a book about gender upheaval, sung out by Anya Johanna DeNiro –

 

…a novella that shakes the rust off the machinery of post-apocalyptic contagion tropes, and brings to life something startlingly new about gender, about friendship, and most importantly the stories trans women tell each other to stay alive.

 

Read more here.

Now, when I was putting links into the draft to send out, the author’s website wasn’t loading, so I had to use another link (to Bookdepository) so that at least there was one option. In case you would like to support them directly (and why wouldn’t you?) you can hop over to their website and purchase the book there, handy for digital downloads (and having a pay-what-you-want arrangement. Bonus). Check it out here.

Sign up to The Unsung Letter for a weekly missive, written by a different book lover each time, singing the praises of an undersung work by a living author.

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The Unsung Letter No. 7

Here’s a taste of this week’s letter, written by David J. Loehr:

 

I grew up in a house filled with books, raised by two English majors, one of whom taught at the college level for years. And while other children might have had fairy tales for bedtime stories, I always requested stories from my mother’s years as a professor—they weren’t all academic stories, but they were all funny.

 

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Current Obsessions in Fiction

What I’d like to read right now, what I’m working my way towards in my own writing, what lingers like incense (happy Easter, by the way, to those who celebrate):

 

shores

hills of grass on and on without end and a puddle here or there reflecting a giant blue sky

diners, motels, petrol stations in the middle of the desert staffed by one person who will not meet your gaze

the mountains were there is a solitary hut above the treeline

constellations when they are considered by small groups of people on the dark face of the earth

ill-defined wrongness and wrongdoing and buttoned lips

islands and their specific, haunted geography

big fat lazy rivers of the kind Scotland is too small to possess

found lines of poetry in spam emails

witches and their fashions and self-forged legends

books which change on contact

forests as impossibly large, engulfing settings for stories (I need more of these)(especially ones which note the way the light shifts and falls, and birdsong, and cracking twigs)

old houses, naturally, with infinite-dimensions of basements and attics and pantries and dairies and outbuildings

little villages in the mesas were all the inhabitance practice a particular craft handed down from one generation to the next

dream logic that is not pure message

graveyards, like shores – with a little mist on them, and great depths

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tw:gore up on Litro

You can read another monstrous piece from On the Edges of Vision here:

 

The first arch leads into a second, then a third, vault-roofed, with small slit windows and those massive flagstone floors smoothed by centuries of shuffling boots.

Outside, palms of snowflakes are dissolving into the pond and feasting on the statuary. The boy himself walks smoothly down the corridor. He holds a mouthful of blood behind his teeth and white
lips.

READ MORE…

 

 

I hope to have more news shortly about the collection – I’ll keep you updated. Meanwhile, a reminder you can add it as ‘to-read’ on Goodreads if you like. If you use another social bookshelf programme, let me know if you can find it there.

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Beginnings

Now the flat has settled into place, the ghosts pacified and the furniture (mostly) rearranged to suit, I have begun a new project. This while I wait for more hard work on On The Edges Of Vision (some time later in the year).

 

I’ve started a novella in small flash bits, a little in the style of Mary Robison (of One DOA and One on the Way and Why Did I Ever) but without attempting her acerbic wit and pithiness. This novella, currently called Villain Miriam (which I hope sounds like a toxic plant) is about a girl called Aophe who goes to live in a witchy house on the shore of an island, thinking she is special. She has a pug puppy for a familiar, while the two other witch-types there (a girl called Mar and a boy called Tatra) have much more sinister creatures at their disposal. And then there is the Miriam of the title, a shady figure who has appeared in other fictions of mine.

 

I’d like to get the piece to about 20,000 words long, then edit it down to the shape and weight of a little stone, then throw it out to sea. There are a number of deadlines out there for novellas between 36-100 pages, some for the beginning and some for the end of October. It’s a light, dark, slightly younger thing I’m writing. Hopefully just right for the closing-in, Samhain time of the year.

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More Books on My Radar – Small Press Delights

I am not allowed to buy books at the moment

I am NOT allowed to buy books at the moment.

D and I are moving flat soon, and simply now is not a good time to buy more books.

So of course, I have been seeing books I want to read EVERYWHERE and none of them are library books, of course.

Check them out:

 

  • Chelsea Hodsons’ chapbook Pity the Animal – Goodreads reviews Glacially cool looking, and spoken of widely with great enthusiasm (Future Tense Books)

 

  • Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen’s The Rabbit Back Society – I’m looking for a wintery read, and this quote on the (urgh) Amazon page really sells it – ‘[The Rabbit Back Literature Society] Mixes the small-town surrealism of Twin Peaks with the clandestine-society theme of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History’ The List. (Pushkin Press)

 

  • Amina Cain’s Creature – from the excellent Dorothy Press ‘Amina Cain’s Creature brings together short fictions set in the space between action and reflection, edging at times toward the quiet and contemplative, at other times toward the grotesque or unsettling.’ (Dorothy)

 

  • Sara Woods’ Wolf Doctors – I think the cover is really cool, and Sara is too, from what I have seen of her on various social media platforms. Poetry, strangeness and heart. (Artifice Books)

 

 

Any I’m missing? All of them, I’m missing them all. Ach, well. For now.

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An Excerpt from Flesh of the Peach on Necessary Fiction

 

Some Girl Lit from me again. An excerpt from my ms Flesh of the Peach, which I completed just over a month ago. It’s a novel of flight, guilt, love and lovelessness. Sarah Brown is an older girl – late twenties, just at the border of accepted girlness. She qualifies, I feel. A girl holding mourning at arms length, with a tired soul and old violence swarming inside, but hopeful of reinvention. Here she’s on the run, travelling by Greyhound from New York City to the Southern Rockies of New Mexico, hovering liminal somewhere in nighttime Oklahoma.

 

Read More…

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