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The Doll's Alphabet
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova
25 posts | 13 read | 14 to read
Surreal, ambitious and exquisitely conceived, these are stories in the tradition of Angela Carter, Franz Kafta, and Margaret Atwood.
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The_Real_Nani
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova
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Working my way through my BEA 2017 stash.

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librarypoweruser
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova
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TFW you have the perfect prop for a creepy book photo shoot. I am so here for these short stories. @coffeehousepress is my go-to for great reads these days.

Texreader Is that Molly? 1y
73 likes2 comments
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Bertha_Mason
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova

"It resembled a frilled and bedraggled wedding dress, ill-preserved by its bride, worn over and over again, the sweat and sweetness of the wedding day covered in grey reproductions of itself, the stains of a day relived over and over. I imagined the attic as one of the arched hollows under the bride's arm, the place where the body leaves its imprint on fabric most intensely, those pathetic, damp, and silent mouths of the heart."
-"Agata's Machine"

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Bertha_Mason
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova

"I followed her up the stairs. There was a distinctive mixture of aromas--cabbages, shoe polish, mice, tobacco, old kitchen pipes, walnuts, smoked ham--as if the stairwell was an accordion, and each step a key that released not a note, but a heavy spray of fragrance."
-"Agata's Machine"

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Bertha_Mason
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova

"The curtains in the first floor windows of their building were faded from the sun, and full of equally faded trinkets, like deteriorating daguerreotypes that took the interior life of the building with them as they crinkled and vanished, leaving nothing but a blank stone wall, an uninhabited ruin."
-"Agata's Machine"

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Bertha_Mason
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova

"She wasn't like known mermaids, divided in two, fish bottom, a lady on top. The fish and the human were blended together like tea with milk. She had greyish skin, pale blonde hair, fish mouth and eyes--the eyes behind round ship window glasses, the stooped look of a jumping dolphin, and hardly any chin at all."
-"The Mermaid"

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Bertha_Mason
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova

"When I first got the job, I felt bored and cruel painting NIGHTINGALE on all the [sewing] machines. They looked like frightened black cats, and would all have the exact same name. I thought it would be so lovely to give one a name like DANCEY or VERONICA, but of course I would be fired. It didn't take long for it to feel like the only word I knew how to write was NIGHTINGALE."
-"Waxy"

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Bertha_Mason
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova

"That night, I stole enough brie from a cheese shop to make it look like I had a fridge full of moons."
-"The Mouse Queen"

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Bertha_Mason
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova

"A girl dressed up as the full moon kept trying to kiss Peter. She smelled like talcum powder and unwashed stockings, which which is how I imagined the moon to smell."
-"The Mouse Queen"

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Bertha_Mason
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova

"It was a horrible thing that you could buy peacock feathers for less than a dollar."
-"The Mouse Queen"

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Bertha_Mason
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova

"I wondered what it would be like to be run over by a tram--perhaps like being pushed through a sewing machine."
-"The Mouse Queen"

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Bertha_Mason
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova

Sewing machines as strange and monstrous seems to be a recurring theme.

merelybookish Just finished watching the TV adaptation of Alias Grace. Lots of emphasis on sewing quits, close-ups of Grace sewing, etc. Is the sewing machine a loss of power somehow? 2y
Bertha_Mason That's a good question. It definitely represents some relation to power in this book, especially in the first story. 2y
Bertha_Mason Sorry I'm not articulating my thoughts well, like you are. 😟 2y
4 likes3 comments
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WordWaller
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova
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About halfway through this Coffee House collection of creepy stories and LOVING it. Lots of sewing, tinned food, and doll imagery, which normally would freak me out and send me running, but the way Grudova writes just pulls me in. This is out this week so visit your local indie 🖤 #Octoberreads #spookyreads

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Liberty
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova
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Dewey's Readathon countdown, Day 26: Today's prompt is "short stories!" This is an assortment of things I've read and things I'm going to read soon. #readathon #30DaysofReadathon ?❤️

152 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Karen
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova
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Great short stories in a #shortbook
#30daysofreadathon

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Redheadrambles
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova
Bailedbailed

Ah. Nope.

ClairesReads Good on you- life is too short 2y
14 likes1 comment
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Redwritinghood
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova
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Pickpick

I am somewhat torn between so-so and "this is complete genius". The writing is so good, though, that this ultimately had to be a pick for me. The stories are strange and often grotesque. Many have the feel of being from another time/place. Frequent appearances by sewing machines, things in tin cans, art, pregnancy and birth, and stupid, lazy and/or arrogant men. Oh! And lists. Lots of lists. And the doll's alphabet has 11 letters; not sure why.

Suet624 I love this review. 💕 2y
DivineDiana 😳😮 2y
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batsy Nice review! Gives me a sense of the strangeness of the book and it's intriguing. 2y
Redwritinghood @batsy Thanks! 😊 2y
Redwritinghood @DivineDiana Right? There's some crazy stuff here, but it's also really good. 2y
53 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Redwritinghood
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova
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Thanks @Liberty for another great giveaway! It's a rainy Saturday here and I've been suffering from a terrible cold for days now (summer colds are the worst!), so this really brightens my day. I've been laying around in my pajamas all day and reading this ARC . . . when I'm not sleeping. #WEEKENDGIVEAWAY

batsy I'm super curious about this book. Hope you feel better soon! 2y
Redwritinghood @batsy Thanks. It's a short story collection and some of the stories are pretty strange. Not sure how I feel about it yet. 2y
Liberty You won the giveaway! Please email your name and address to Liberty at Book Riot dot com and I'll send you the books. 🎉 2y
Redwritinghood @Liberty Will do. Thank you! 🎉🎉 2y
53 likes4 comments
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Karen
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova
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My stack for #24in48 ......of course it may change.

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Karen
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova
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Next up.

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LauraJ
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova
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Pickpick

Grudova's short story collection blew me away. This is magical realism heavy on the dusty, moldy, grungy realism. There's an almost dystopian postwar, government-controlled atmosphere that pervades the book along w/repetitive motifs of sewing machines, tinned foods, vermin and pregnancy that she writes about as if she's trying to exile them from her mind. I can't do it justice, but I predict Grudova will find a moderate, devoted fan base. #debut

43 likes1 stack add
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LauraJ
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova
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"One afternoon, after finishing a cup of coffee in her living room, Greta discovered how to unstitch herself."

Only a few stories in, but makes me think of a Canadian Helen Oyeyemi. Very enjoyable so far.

#ARC #catsoflitsy #canlit

vivastory A Canadian Helen Oyeyemi? Sold! 3y
40 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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moarbookspleaze
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova
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This came with my last indiespensible. I'm two stories in and it is strange. But good.

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AnnieReads
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova
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Panpan

Strange short stories. For me the only thing to recommend this collection is that it's short.

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tjramsey75
The Doll's Alphabet | Camilla Grudova
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Pickpick

This surrealist short story collection is bananas!!

5 likes1 stack add