Centuries of June by Keith Donohue is a modern fable revolving around American myths and Hindu concepts of reincarnation. The protagonist is a man who awakens to find himself with a hole in the back of his head and no idea of who he is or who the eight nude women sleeping in his bed might be. An elderly figure who he believes is the ghost of Samuel Beckett helps him into the bathroom and then saves his life from each woman as they attack him in historical order of when they were wronged by him in his past lives.
Witches on the Road Tonight by Sheri Holman is a tale of intergenerational witches that takes place in four different time frames between the 1930â€™s and the present. The plot moves back and forth between generations and characters. This requires a bit of concentration, but is well worth the effort. It has something of the fears that rise from ghost stories told around a campfire.
If UNDER FISHBONE CLOUDS doesnâ€™t attain the high readership it deserves, there is no justice. Itâ€™s quite simply one of the most lavishly imagined, masterfully researched, exquisitely written contemporary novels Iâ€™ve read. And if that sounds as if Iâ€™m gushingâ€¦well, itâ€™s probably because I am.
December 7, 2010
Â· Judi Clark Â· One Comment
Tags: Chinese, Communism, love, lyrical, Magical Realism, Myth, Real Event Fiction, Real People Fiction Â· Posted in: 2010 Favorites, China, Facing History, Family Matters, World Lit
Baba Yaga is a star player in Eastern European myths. The Russian version involves a crackly old witch ready to spark terror in childrenâ€™s hearts. Croatian author Dubravka Ugresic, in her wonderful book, BABA YAGA LAID AND EGG, lays out modern-day interpretations of this age-old myth. These â€świtches,â€ť Ugresic tells us, are all around usâ€”old women limbs curling from arthritis, shuffling along, waiting, pondering the end of their lives. The book is laid out in three sectionsâ€”each a different take on the myth.
February 3, 2010
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: Aging, Canongate, Croatia, Dubravka Ugresic, Myth Â· Posted in: Allegory/Fable, Croatia, End-of-Life, James Tiptree Winner, Literary, Russia, Translated, World Lit
Earlier this summer I went to a book reading here in Maine where I live. The author, Jessica Anthony was local, and that always brings in a nice crowd. We have a lot of good writers in Maine. Of course there is Stephen King, up in Bangor, whom everyone knows; and thereâ€™s Phil Hoose, who just recently won the National Book Award. But there are a lot of writers around here who arenâ€™t as well known, and many of them are very talented. I had not heard of Ms. Anthony, but I was obviously in the minority, for she seemed a favorite of the crowd the evening of her reading–and it was a crowd. Chris, the owner of the bookstore, introduced her, calling her brilliant and her book brilliant too. But Chris says this about a lot of the writers he introduces. They are either brilliant, or if not brilliant, their book canâ€™t be put down. Sometimes itâ€™s one or the other. Tonight, it was both–and the book was brilliant too, as I said. Ms. Anthony approached the podium and said hello to her many friends in the audience, talked briefly about the book, and began to read from her book THE CONVALESCENT.
December 12, 2009
Â· Judi Clark Â· One Comment
Tags: Magical Realism, Myth, Virginia Â· Posted in: Amanda Davis, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Literary, Speculative (Beyond Reality), US Mid-Atlantic, y Award Winning Author