Fiction. Art. If the past is a foreign country, childhood is a vanished civilization filled with mysterious monuments and charming ruins, and always colored by our own wildly unreliable memories. The 18 stories in this collection offer a kaleidoscopic view of childhood's forgotten tropes and dizzying leaps of logic, and are by turns hilariously paranoid, discombobulated, claustrophobic, and filled with yearning. A parrot regales his new owner with an increasingly outrageous story of his own picaresque past; a woman taking care of her aging mad-scientist father is alarmed by his new teenage sidekick; a dying superhero recalls himself and his archnemesis as lonely grade-school outcasts; coma victims become the unwitting vessels of a shadowy weather-control project; suburbanites, menaced by their material possessions, regress to a prelapsarian state; a trio of bumbling fools in a near-future dystopia try to decide what to do about a giant robot that suddenly appears without explanation.
"I had only had a tiny taste of Holly Tavel's work, and my pulse quickened to learn she at last has a whole book of stories. Tavel's fiction has the delicious feel of children's literature, without being child-like, or for children. Her worlds are magically palpable, rendered in precise detail and a moody palette just beyond reach of reality. They elicit an enormous craving to cross into them and abide there. In 'Ars Poetica,' a woman finds a 'dove-gray mass lightly furred and blurred, as if seen through a pair of smudged glasses' pulsing quietly under the rhododendrons in her garden. This slightly noxious mass is a poem. It won't go away. The story 'Last Words' is in part narrated by a pet macaw, who tells of the destruction of many birds it has known far back in history. Tavel's voice is both comic and elegiac, with a deep sadness underlining the absurdity."—Angela Woodward
Holly Tavel is a writer, editor, and translator. She lives in New York. Her work has appeared in Torpedo, Elimae, McSweeney's, and Diagram. She is formerly editor of Neuroscape Journal, and a co-curator of Psy.Geo.Conflux, an annual New York-based psychogeographic project. Her fiction has appeared in VLAK magazine, Brooklyn Rail, and The Return of Kral Majales: Prague's International Literary Renaissance 1990-2010. Her visual/ conceptual art has featured in group shows at the Participant Gallery in New York.
Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA