Working my way through my BEA 2017 stash.
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.
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
Sewing machines as strange and monstrous seems to be a recurring theme.
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
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.
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
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