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The Monstrous Allure of the Book

I’ve been down for the count for the past few days with a terrible cold — throat still throbbing, can hardly speak — so I missed this when it first came out last week: the piece I wrote about Margaret Irwin (she of the most excellent weird story ‘The Book’ and the fantastic slipstream/time travel novel Still She Wished for Company) is now up on Weird Fiction Review as part of their ‘101 Weird Writers’ series.

I love Margaret Irwin’s writing, and am so glad Ann and Jeff VanderMeer’s The Weird is helping to draw more attention to writers like her!

Here’s a little snippet from my essay…

Turning to the supernatural as a means of escaping tedium is a recurring theme in Irwin’s writing, in both her long and short fiction. In the novel Still She Wished for Company, Lucian Clare, an 18th century English lord and heir of the Chidleigh estate, kept society with hypnotists and mesmerists while he was in Paris, where he was also rumoured to have been part of a Satanic cult — all to escape the dullness of English country life. Using his young sister as a vehicle for his supernatural talents, Lucian attempts a sort of ghostly time-travel to interact with people from a different era (200 years in the future), in order to find a “consistent purpose to his cold existence.”

…and you can read the rest over here.

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