Tuesday, 5 April 2011

'God of the Pigeons', Jay Merill

God of the Pigeons (Salt Modern Fiction)God of the Pigeons, Jay Merill
These dense stories are full of hidden objects, meaning and emotions. The title story, 'God of the Pigeons' takes the wing of a dead pigeon and makes it into something much more, 'a hand, clearly pointing to us, saying "Go for it". Spelling out "birth" to us. Does that seem silly? To me it couldn't have been more clear.'
Things are always more than they seem in this collection. The reader is frequently challenged by stories that require effort and deduction. 'Little Elva' is one such story; from the outset the reader is hypothesising, wondering, attempting to fill in the gaps. The moment of realisation is deeply satisying and a second reading offers an entirely different experience. My favourite story was 'Squeeze'. I don't want to spoil 'Squeeze' for future readers, but it offers a fascinating insight into the internal workings of an irrational mind and if the story had been a documentary I would have been equally transfixed.
Read an interview with Merill here.
Read a review of 'God of the Pigeons' here.

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