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Hair Side, Flesh Side Paperback – November 20, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: ChiZine Publications (November 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1927469244
  • ISBN-13: 978-1927469248
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #982,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Helen Marshall is an author, editor, and self-confessed bibliophile.

Marshall completed an Bachelor's Degree in English at the University of Guelph, followed by a Masters in Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. Her current research as a Doctoral Candidate in Medieval Studies investigates the scrappy fragments of medieval books that survive from the early fourteenth century when scribes were just beginning to experiment with composing in English after the Norman Conquest obliterated the native writing culture in 1066.

In 2011, Marshall published a collection of poetry, Skeleton Leaves, that "[took] the children's classic, [stripped] away the flesh, and [revealed] the dark heart of Peter Pan beating beneath." The collection was jury-selected for the Preliminary Ballot of the Bram Stoker Award for excellence in Horror, nominated for a Rhysling Award for Science Fiction Poetry and won an Aurora Award for best Canadian speculative poem. Her poetry and fiction have been published a range of magazines including Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, The Chiaroscuro, Paper Crow, Abyss & Apex, and Tor.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Catherine MacLeod on December 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
Helen Marshall's "Hair Side, Flesh Side" is a collection of beautifully-written, thought-provoking stories--but some of the thoughts they provoke make it hard to look your reflection in the eye. She has an enviable imagination: the first story, "Blessed," is about a seven-year-old who receives the body of Saint Lucia of Syracuse for her birthday. You have to wonder about a woman who not only thinks of a thing like that, but makes you believe it to the point of leaving tear stains on the pages.

The book's title is apt. Marshall dissects some of her subjects, and autopsies others. "Pieces of Broken Things" and "The Art of Dying," especially, will make you flinch. "The Mouth, Open" will kill your appetite for a while. She's not afraid to dig deep.

My two favourite stories are "Sanditon," about an editor who finds a missing Jane Austen manuscript written inside her skin, and "Dead White Men," a ghost story that would make MR James proud.

Though her stories have soft tones of other writers--Neil Gaiman, Holly Phillips, Gemma Files, and yes, even Jane Austen (she has a very good ear for dialogue,) her voice is her own.

It is well-worth hearing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By GreensRGood on January 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For a new author, Helen Marshall shows she has learned a lot about writing disturbing, elegant stories that jar the reader into a sense of unsettled tension, while leading the reader towards an unanticipated conclusion. Categorizing the stories according to the different parts of the human body provide a deliciously creepy framework to structure her stories. It is not just her ability to write unsettling prose that impresses, but her careful characterization that allows the reader to idenify closely with her characters, making the effect of the strange action feel very personal.

This is an author to watch. She immediately goes onto my "A" list (i.e., I'll read anything she publishes).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ReadHead on November 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
This debut collection takes on big concepts like history, memory and art, but it does so through stories that are surprisingly funny, quirky, emotional and human. My favorite story "Sanditon" focuses on an editor who, in the midst of an affair with a famous author, discovers a lost manuscript of Jane Austen written on the inside of her skin. She then must negotiate the power balance of their relationship as they try to publish. The story plays well off another story, "Dead White Men", where a twenty-something bar fly picks up a woman who acts as a medium, channelling the ghosts of dead authors into the bodies of her lovers. This is an exceptionally well-crafted collection, with themes returning in various forms throughout the fifteen stories, falling somewhere between Jorge Luis Borges, Jasper Fford, and Neil Gaiman. Highly recommended!
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