From Publishers Weekly
Though the dank, tremulous underside of motherhood and familial love is the ostensible subject of this daring but distancing collection of six stories, its real focus is the electric force of language, revealing and obscuring reality and creating beauty out of even the most distasteful truth. National Book Award–nominee Holland (The Spectacle of the Body
) is as besotted with words as she is disillusioned with the tropes of parent, child and sibling relationships, and she brings her fierce powers to bear in these malice-laden stories. In the title story, a new mother reluctantly welcomes her mentally disturbed sister for a visit, while recalling the abortion her sister was forced to undergo by their father years ago. A man takes the stage to introduce a poet at a reading in "Time for the Flat-Headed Man," but describes the wonders of his small son and his damaged infant daughter instead. A frank child narrates "Rooster, Pollard, Cricket, Goose," which makes the horror of her beloved father abusing a decrepit horse as her mother prepares to leave them all the more poignant and strange. Holland's baroquely bleak prose sometimes obscures her plots, but she is undeniably a writer's writer, and language lovers will thrill to her jittery rhythms. (Nov.)
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About the Author
Noy Holland is the author of two collections of short fiction, What Begins With Bird (FC2), and The Spectacle of the Body (Knopf). Her stories have appeared in The Quarterly, Conjunctions, Black Warrior Review, Ploughshares, Open City, NOON, and others. She is an Associate Professor in the MFA program for Writers and Poets at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she co-directs the Juniper Initiative. She is married to the writer Sam Michel. They live in a quiet hill town with their two young children.