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Another insane fiction from the feminist Surrealist finally back in print. A 90-year-old bearded lady receives a hearing trumpet from her friend and discovers that her family is planning to institutionalize her. There are sinister winking abbesses, fiendish doctors, many cats, wolves, deadly carrots, autophagy, mysticism(s), lilac limousines and moustaches, and the end of the world. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood
The once-famous late 19th Century French writer influenced Borges, Rilke, Apollinaire, Bolaño, and others. This short novella retells the tragic true history of the medieval children’s crusade when thousands of European children quixotically set out for Jerusalem only to be sold into slavery by pirates. Schwob uses eight different voices to narrate the cruel history with modernistic shifting perspectives. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood
This feverish nightmare of racism is finally back in print after 25 years. Wickedly hilarious, raunchy, vile, and terrifying, Negrophobia is written as a screenplay whose racist protagonist Bubbles Brazil descends into a hallucinatory drug- and voodoo-induced phantasmagoria of black stereotypes. In just one sequence, Nazi-outfitted Disney characters celebrate the Last Supper with a plasticine Jesus as a skyscraper-sized African-American nose devised by the Zombie Master (and his trusted sidekicks Zombie Elvis and JFK’s head on spider legs) destroys the festivities! ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood
A deeply moving, devastating novel based on real events in a colony of Mennonites. All of the women and girls have been systematically drugged and raped at night for years by their brothers and fathers (though it had been blamed on demons). The novel is written as the minutes of their meetings, transcribed by a male schoolteacher and outcast in their community (since the women are kept illiterate). They meet to democratically decide whether they will stay and do nothing, take revenge, or leave into the larger world of which they know nothing. A painful document of the most powerless women seizing their own agency. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood
Schulz was first brought to American attention by Philip Roth. A magnificent quasi-surreal, quasi-magical realist Polish-Jewish short story writer killed by the Gestapo. The language is gorgeous, and the stories are enchanting and strange—the narrator’s enigmatic and eccentric father is at the very heart. This volume collects all of his extant prose. Kafka with tenderness and poetic language! ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood