At what point does fiction become horror fiction? Is there some immutable border, some checklist of elements to be tallied, that propels a particular story or novel out of the realm of the disconcerting and into that of the outright horrific? Certain notable collections, including Jac Jemc’s False Bingo and Amelia Gray’s Gutshot find a balance between deft narrative construction and something both ineffable and unspeakable. That’s the space in which Natanya Ann Pulley’s new collection With Teeth occupies as well: meticulously written, while all the while abounding with glimpses of the bizarre and brutal.
In our morning reading: thoughts on books by Meng Jin and Jeet Thayil, a film adaptation of a Brian Evenson story, and more.
In our morning reading: new fiction by Richard Chiem, interviews with Gary Lutz and Scott Snyder, and more.
Brian Evenson isn’t an author that fans of Cormac McCarthy, Stephen King, or Chuck Palahniuk typically know, but he certainly should be, as his work is every bit as apocalyptic, surprising, and haunting. For years, Evenson’s readers have been slipping copies of his books into the hands of friends, students, and family members. When travelling, I often keep a copy of Contagion (which Evenson graciously allowed my small press, Astrophil Press, to reprint) and drop it into neighborhood lending libraries, and I must admit that I find a little thrill in knowing that I’ve done my small part in introducing people to this pitch perfect collection of stories. I am not alone in this; many of Evenson’s readers border on evangelicals, spreading the dark word of Evenson. This enthusiasm for Evenson’s work is understandable considering his ability to publish tightly wrought, layered stories that often stick with us long after having read them. There are very few authors I can think of who have a catalog as strong as Evenson; his stories feel entirely new and each of his sentences feel entirely necessary.
In our afternoon reading: looking back at the life and legacy of Toni Morrison, reviews of books by Brian Evenson and Jess Row, and more.
In our afternoon reading: thoughts on books by Nina MacLaughlin and Howard A. Rodman, previewing the most exciting books of the second half of 2019, and more.
In our morning reading: interviews with Brian Evenson and Karen Stefano, thoughts on Black Midi’s new album, and more.
In our afternoon reading: thoughts on Juliet Escoria’s new novel, interviews with Brian Evenson and Lauren Beukes, and more.