Thursday, 26 April 2012

Listen Close to Me ~ Catherine Eisner

Eisner's collection is subtitled, Hidden Lives of Love, Madness, Murder, Loss and Deception, and while the sense of madness and loss is amplified by the book's extraordinary and disturbing cover, there is also a tremendous sense of fun here. Eisner makes use of intriguing subheadings and 'source material' such as newspaper clippings, graphs, poetry, diary pages and extracts from old school books. There are just five stories in this 228 page collection and these are followed by a series of graphological notes on the handwriting of various characters. 'Lovesong in Invisible Ink' is a digressive and knowing narrative that spans decades. The narrator is self-deprecating and likable; there's no Reader, I married him here, it's 'reader, I slept with him.' The title story is the last testament of its asexual narrator. It's a odd story, full of strange characters and erotic imagery: the narrator's husband refers to her as his 'long noodle,' and poor Uncle Irving's body has to be identified by dental records - all that is left of him is his toupee. The stories in this collection are dark and the characters are 'driven by bizarre and sometimes criminal compulsions.'

Read an interview with Catherine Eisner here.
Catherine Eisner's blog.

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