A long-awaited new collection of Marina Warner's short stories. Like her award-winning novels, Marina Warner's stories conjure up mysteries and wonders in a physical world, treading a delicate, magical line between the natural and the supernatural, between openness and fear.
Dame Marina Warner is a British novelist, short story writer, historian and mythographer. She is known for her many non-fiction books relating to feminism and myth. She has written for many publications over the years, including The London Review of Books, the New Statesman, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and Vogue.Book Beginnings and Friday 56 are hosted respectively by Gilion over at Rose City Reader and Freda by Freda's Voice.
'My dear, you know that burning house dilemma, when you have to choose what you would take out of it? Forget loved ones, they're thrown in, like Shakespeare and the Bible on Desert Island Discs. No, what would you take with you, after the wife and sprogs've been carried out of the flames in those loely big burly firemen's arms? By the way, since when did they turn into fire-fighters? This gender-blind talk, on trend, not like me, like being a chair, or a customer service officer - not my style.' p.1 (from 'Out of the Burning House')I love that Warner begins her stories with something so straightforward and recognizable as that 'burning house dilemma'! And how she manages to sound so casual and direct, really address the reader with her questions. It's also always a good way to start an anthology by building a relationship between the narrator and the reader, since those two don't really change between stories.
'The pious acts of disfigurement weren't consistent: a few female saints, a few male saints, and several characters in the stories (men and women) were obliterated like the face of the Prophet in Persian or Indian manuscripts of a similar date, when he and other Islamic saints are screened from our gaze by short veils.' p.56 (from 'Watermark')This has a very different tone from the previous story and I really like it! Marina Warner is so incredibly learned and intelligent (in case you haven't noticed, I idolize her a little bit) that I'm always astonished when she mixes knowledge with an easy and smooth writing style.
So, that's me for today! Do you like short stories? Would you check out Fly Away Home?