Viewing entries by
Anna Zalokostas

Carmen Boullosa’s <br><i>Before</i>

Carmen Boullosa’s
Before

Review by Anna Zalokostas

Taking place somewhere between the worlds of the living and the dead, between dream life and waking life, between what is real and what is imagined, Carmen Boullosa’s early novel Before meets the everyday with bewilderment. In this dream world of childhood, realism is nothing short of an act of magic; the supernatural suffuses the ordinary. Ghosts speak, a wardrobe transforms drawings into physical objects, the kitchen scissors breathe heavily under a bed pillow, a turtle bleeds, a petticoat is marked with stigmata, an embroidery needle pierces the maid’s hand without producing a speck of blood. And a young girl hears strange noises at night—footsteps that keep pursuing her, closing in on her in the dark . . .

Joanna Walsh's <br><i>Vertigo</i>

Joanna Walsh's
Vertigo

Review by Anna Zalokostas

“How long does a thought take to form?” asks a woman in Vertigo, a collection of linked stories by British writer and illustrator Joanna Walsh. “Years sometimes. But how long to think it? And once thought it’s impossible to go back. How long does it take to cross an hour?” Sometimes it takes hours to finish a sentence, a lifetime to find a city from which it becomes possible to begin. Time in Vertigo doesn’t so much slow down as it does short-circuit; the present moment is suspended, each instant expanded. Stories pass by like slow motion film; long stretches of thought are torqued by the white noise of the ordinary. This is a liminal space that eludes situation, an amplified present that expands the possibilities of genre . . .