Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Finding the new

copy belonging to artist/illustrator/writer
Jackie Morris
art by Clive Hicks-Jenkins
Since my short Goodreads giveaway for Glimmerglass will end in less than a day (1125 signed up at this moment), I think it's time for a Glimmerglass note...

I am a fan of novelist Scott G. F. Bailey's blog, Six Words for a Hat, and am always interested in what he says about books and writing. Currently he is talking about the need for "a story where a writer keeps working as he goes along, rather than sets up a game board and then simply unspools the plot."

Being but mortal, I am especially fond of what he says about my books (so far):
I have been meaning to write more about Marly Youmans' latest novel Glimmerglass, the second half of which features an adventure that is part fever dream, part mystical experience, and part thrilling escape. The protagonist of the tale encounters characters from scripture, myth, from literary history, and from her own subconscious. There is an admirable angel character who may or may not be Satan; it works either way, which is some trick. Some day soon, hopefully, I'll write about it, but for now I want to say that this is a book where the writer continues to push things, to work with her materials and find something new all along the course of the narrative. Yes, that's what I want to say, and that's what I want to find in a story.
Earlier he wrote about the first half of the book

Scott Bailey has a novel of his own, now in a reprint from MDA Books (originally published by Rhemalda.) The late critic David Myers wrote a wonderful  review of The Astrologer on his A Commonplace Blog. It's still waiting in my big To Be Read stack because someone who writes in such an interesting fashion about books is a writer I must read. (My husband has already stolen the book away and enjoyed it very much, I should add.) Scott Bailey also has some short stories in collections and is a writer and blogger well worth following.


  1. So wonderful to have other great writers appreciate your work so deeply, Marly! My copy of Glimmerglass is now on the top of my to-read pile and will come along on a special little reteat we are going on later this month. I am tingling with anticipation.

    1. Ah, good! It is interesting to hear what any reader has to say, but other writers who hew to the narrow road of the well-made book can be especially intriguing. Scott Bailey certainly is!

      Enjoy your time away! Glimmerglass is very *away*.

  2. Replies
    1. Hi there, distant cousin-of-some-sort! Yes, Scott is a major reader... I value what he says.


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.