|Title page with decoration|
(collage of painted and cut papers)
by Clive Hicks-Jenkins
- Maze of Blood 2015
- Glimmerglass 2014
- Thaliad 2012
- The Foliate Head 2012
- A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage 2012
- The Throne of Psyche 2011
- Val/Orson 2009
- Ingledove 2005
- Claire 2003
- The Curse of the Raven Mocker 2003
- The Wolf Pit 2001
- Catherwood 1996
- Little Jordan 1995
- Short stories and poems
- Marly Youmans
Monday, July 07, 2014
Glimmerglass at "Publishers Weekly"
Marly Youmans. Mercer Univ., $24 (224p)
This stylish contemporary variation on the Bluebeard legend from Youmans (A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage) serves up an appealing blend of myth, mystery, and magic. [SOME SPOILERS AHEAD - SKIP TO END IF YOU DON'T LIKE SPOILERS.] Cynthia Sorrel, a painter in a creative rut, visits Cooper Patent, a hamlet located on New York's Glimmerglass Lake. she rents a rustic gatehouse cottage from half-brothers Theodore and Andrew Wild, who live together in their ancestral mansion, Sea House. Hired by the siblings to paint a portrait of them, Cynthia feels newly inspired as in artist after spotting a young boy running through the woods outside. The eccentric, "shifty" Theodore unnerves her, but she is charmed by Andrew, a widower and grandfather. The two eventually marry, and Cynthis grows attached to his three young grandchildren, Lizzie, Drew, and Ned. She continues to be wary of Theodore, however, particularly after he creepily relates a story to her of how, when he was young, his cousin Moss was lost in the caved-in tunnels beneath the house. Eventually, Cynthia decides to explore Sea House's subterranean labyrinth for herself in order to put the Wild family's dark secrets to rest. [END SPOILERS.] Even readers who don't go for more traditional fantasy fare should enjoy this vividly written yarn. (Sept.)
Two thoughts, with thanks to the PW reviewer...
One, Bluebeard never popped into my mind while writing or revising this book! Perhaps I should have thought of him...
And two, I think there could be a serious and interesting argument between people who like to categorize fiction whether this book is literary fiction without a single fantastic thing in it (though much that is very strange), or whether it is, indeed, fantastic in nature. It does contain a figure that is or is not the Muse, and it does contain a strange passage derived from the classical world, the somnium. And it feels strange. But would or should a genre-loving person call it one or the other, literary fiction or fantasy? I don't know. Maybe they would call it interstitial. As I tend not to categorize except by good vs. bad, I don't worry about it. But as other people do, particularly reviewers, I think about categories from time to time.