Speculate, the new book from Eugen Bacon and Dominique Hecq, offers a fascinating and often gripping look at literary collaboration. The book is divided into two halves: in each, one author responds to the prose poetry of the other. How those responses work make for one of the book’s most thrilling elements; the other is the stylistic range involved, meaning that some of the prose poems read like dispatches from a more surreal locale and others feel compellingly candid. I spoke with Hecq about the book’s origins and the ways in which it came together.
In our afternoon reading: an interview with Madeleine Watts, fiction by Caitlin Horrocks, and more.
It’s December, apparently. Are we reading? We’re still reading. What are we reading? Books. Which books? Maybe some of these. The end of the year traditionally brings a very intriguing assortment of titles, and this year is no exception. Looking for strange, genre-defying work? We’ve got that, sure. Seeking sharply-written nonfiction? We’ve got that covered as well. Here are some December books that have caught our eye.
In our morning reading: new writing by Lavie Tidhar, Aminatta Forna and Maaza Mengiste in conversation, and more.
As an African Australian it’s unsurprising that being between worlds is a recurring theme in my stories.
Recently the Sydney Review of Books published my essay “Inhabitation—Genni and I”, where I embrace my once unsayable duality. The text unwraps or layers my journey that is a discovery, “an integral acceptance of the sum of self”.
This theme of hybridity is present in my novel Claiming T-Mo by Meerkat Press, a speculative novel that’s hard to classify in a single genre, with its elements of science fiction, fantasy and magical realism.
The guiding principle of Six Ridiculous Questions is that life is filled with ridiculousness. And questions. That only by giving in to these truths may we hope to slip the surly bonds of reality and attain the higher consciousness we all crave. (Eh, not really, but it sounded good there for a minute.) It’s just. Who knows? The ridiculousness and question bits, I guess. Why six? Assonance, baby, assonance.