Yesterday, I was delighted to receive a copy of the first book of mine to be translated into another language – On the Edges of Vision has been rendered in Italian as Fotogrammi di un Film Horror Perduto, published and translated by Stefania Perosin of Il Saggiatore.
It looks incredible. Here for example is one very short piece, The Island Beyond This, side by side with the original in English:
I am so so chuffed to see my work in another language, and the whole experience was deeply rewarding – Il Saggiatore and Perosin took great care with the text, asking lots of questions and typesetting it to perfection. Feedback from bilingual readers of Italian and English have also been really complimentary, saying the book lingered with them, and that the translation captures the spirit of the original. What more could a writer hope for? Well, I was supposed to be in Rome for the launch, but the plague has made that impossible. I am hopeful for a return to Italy soon – in any case one of my favourite countries in the world, when it’s safe to travel anywhere.
More news is forthcoming about other translations – and my novel Bitterhall, due out early next year. It all seems so far away in this strange, drifting year. I hope wherever you are reading this, that you are well, and reading that spirits you away or shores you up against these strange, heartbreaking days of ours.
The brand new Italian translation of On the Edges of Vision is due out in May this year from Il Sagiattore, translated by Stefania Perosin.
As you can see, it has a different title, one I’m very happy with. It comes from the title of a shorter piece, in English called ‘Frame from a Horror Film Now Lost’. I love the playful weirdness of the cover. So many birds, so many words, in a tiny space, flittering and chirruping.
I’ve just come back from the Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters, which took place in Kerala. Photos and insights into the festival to come, but suffice to say for now it was an incredible experience, and I met and listened to so many new voices. Right now the jet lag is digging its claws in – it’ll soon wear off, I’m sure.
I’m so delighted that two of my flash pieces have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize!
Thank you so much to Jellyfish Review for publishing and nominating ‘Il Uomo Morto’:
It happens every year, apparently. A friend of ours who has lived here his whole life came up to the house to tell us what had happened. He understood that we would be afraid. He leaned out on the terrace, gesturing with his little cup of coffee at the new plains. The mountains are for the winter season, he said simply, and in spring they have to go.
and thank you to Vestal Review for publishing and nominating ‘Some Day My Prince Will Come and Chew Me in His Giant Maw’:
I was spooning lakewater with my hand when the nostrils broke the surface. I’ll dream of it all my days—horror from unwanted closeness. The bubbling sounds as from below the little-eyed slimy grey head came rushing up, and the wide-slung jaw with juts of teeth the shape and thickness of bananas. The guide kicked the motor, we fell into our seats, and when I could turn to look back, there was only ripple to see of it. Only the soupy lake under the beautiful egrets, noon.
Though competition is very steep for the Pushcart, I am just very grateful to have been nominated. Two of my pieces have been nominated before, way back in 2014: ‘The Mistress of the House on the Machair‘ in Wyvern Lit and ‘To String‘ in Cobalt Review, both stories in my debut collection On the Edges of Vision. The two from this year are both included in the book I’ve just finished- more on that later…
404 Ink, started by Heather McDaid and Laura Jones, are the publishing house behind the excellent essay collection Nasty Women and surreal, hilarious short story collection Hings by Chris McQueer – so I am utterly thrilled to say that they are also going to be publishing two books by me!
My debut story collection, On the Edges of Vision, came out in 2015 and won the Saltire First Book of the Year. The press who originally published it have since shuttered, but 404 have taken it up and are going to shepherd it back into the world.
I was very kindly sent some thoughtful questions on my writing (both flash fiction and my forthcoming novel). In it, I push The Unsung Letter, talk about my nervousness of Plath (it’s true, one day I will face it) and what I’d take if my house was burning down.
It’s been a long time – I’ve been travelling, and writing (writing and writing very slowly, and thinking about writing while the world spins on its terrible path) but today, some news. There’s a review of On the Edges of Vision up on Gutter, written by Laura Waddell:
Free from the debut trope of self-reference and loosely-disguised autobiography, McClory engages in a kind of inquisitive modern mythmaking. Within settings as diverse as forests, airports and ideal homes, a pleasing jumble of styles and references emerge: fantasy, horror, classicism, fairytales, and other dark flavours. Such macabre turns bring to mind the terror of Ann Radcliffe or poetic justice of Roald Dahl.
There has been little to report of my writing life, mostly because I’ve been working away on the witchy novel, which will hopefully be done by late next year. It evolves away from me, first a moth then a snake, then sometimes just pages that I have to let slip from my hands and fall around me and gather again. I’m happy with the work though. Time taken is time (and hopefully text) made richer. The biggest thing ahead is the emergence of my debut novel, Flesh of the Peach. That’s April, next year, out from Freight. Less than six months away. I hope to share the cover here as soon as I am allowed. A cover makes it real, doesn’t it?
Writer Hayley Webster is hosting an online literary festival right now, and as part of it she has interviewed me on On the Edges of Vision and being a writer and speaking up for other writers (which she does herself very often, as evidenced by the efforts she has gone through to organise a literary festival under her own steam!)
Some nice news this morning – On the Edges of Vision has been longlisted in the best short story collection category, alongside others such as Janice Galloway’s Jellyfish, Joanna Walsh’s Vertigo and Helen Oyeyemi’s What is not Yours is not Yours.
On the shortlist is Lara William’s Treats, which I read and thought was excellent, as well as Dinosaurs on Other Planets by Danielle McLaughlin, which is high on my tbr – you can see the full lists and vote for your favourites to win here.
It’s half ten at night as I write this, but I feel like I have to make a post, or else something will float away from me: I’ve decided, finally, what to call my second flash fiction collection. It isn’t finished, and I haven’t begun approaching publishers about it yet, but at nearly 37K it’s now formed into something with character enough, I think, to bear the weight of a name:
Mayhem and Death
It will be over forty stories long, with several sections (one of which, Ritual Stitches and Good Red Wounds, was the semi-finalist in two chapbook contests). Around ten stories have been published or will be shortly, with hopefully a few more to come. Lots of murderesses in this collection, which is a nod to Margaret Atwood’s use of it in Alias Grace. The feminising suffix, so often used to diminish, set against ‘murderer’ reads strange and unheimlich. Also: versions of films beloved (and hated)(and invented)(and mashedup), and an interconnected flash segment about a mother reading her deceased daughter’s diary of nightmares.
I’m excited! I’m also still working on the witchy novel Villain Miriam (working title, though I quite like it too) and awaiting to share some news about my debut novel, Flesh of the Peach. Later, later. At a more reasonable hour. Perhaps.
If desirous of some of my stories, see the Fiction section above for lots of links to published pieces, or buy my first book here (free worldwide shipping)