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9781910695371 61eff43abdff1808b2ddf8b5 The Dolls Alphabet https://cdn1.storehippo.com/s/607fe93d7eafcac1f2c73ea4/61eff43bbdff1808b2ddf8e6/webp/41xpypq4mtl-_sx323_bo1-204-203-200_.jpg

Surreal, ambitious, and exquisitely conceived, The Doll's Alpabet is a collection of stories in the tradition of Angela Carter and Margaret Atwood. Dolls, sewing machines, tinned foods, mirrors, malfunctioning bodies many images recur in stories that are in turn child-like and naive, grotesque and very dark. In 'Unstitching', a feminist revolution takes place. In 'Waxy', a factory worker fights to keep hold of her Man in a society where it is frowned upon to be Manless. In 'Agata's Machine', two schoolgirls conjure a Pierrot and an angel in a dank attic room. In 'Notes from a Spider', a half-man, half-spider finds love in a great European city. By constantly reinventing ways to engage with her obsessions and motifs, Camilla Grudova has come up with a method for storytelling that is highly imaginative, incredibly original, and absolutely discomfiting.

 

Review

‘That I cannot say what all these stories are about is a testament to their worth. They have been haunting me for days now. They have their own, highly distinct flavour, and the inevitability of uncomfortable dreams.’
- Nick Lezard, Guardian



‘If fairytales could dream, this nightmarish collection is what you might end up with. Grudova’s closest living counterpart could be Ben Marcus, with whom she shares a heavy debt to Kafka ... But the atmosphere of her fantastical, semi-dystopian settings is so unique and persuasive that the day after finishing the book, I awoke from a dream to realize that it had taken place in Grudova’s universe. ... The author’s surreal humour, often delivered via deadpan dream logic, recalls the startling short stories of Leonora Carrington. Both Carrington and Grudova excel at a certain well-placed, pedestrian literalism that works deliciously against the magical elements in their fiction.’
- Claire Lowdon, Times Literary Supplement



‘The comic grotesqueries that emerge from this collection owe a bit to Dickens, Kafka and Heinrich Hoffmann’s “Der Struwwelpeter,” but their total effect is delightfully unclassifiable.... The Doll's Alphabet is clearly a revisionist undertaking. It unsettles assumptions about motherhood and marriage. But it also separates itself from its feminist predecessors. The world it inhabits – droll, inexplicable and even beautiful in its slovenly fashion – is unlike any other I’ve encountered.’
- Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal



‘This doll’s eye view is a total delight and surveys a world awash with shadowy wit and exquisite collisions of beauty and the grotesque.’
- Helen Oyeyemi, author of Boy, Snow, Bird



The Doll's Alphabet ... has already garnered comparisons to Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood, Leonora Carrington, Ben Marcus, and Franz Kafka. To this list let me add another name: George Orwell. Not the dystopian Orwell of 1984 or the allegorical Orwell of Animal Farm but the down-and-out, grubby-oilcloth Orwell of The Road to Wigan Pier and Keep the Aspidistra Flying. Grudova does mermaids and magic, but she also does moldy, dingy, scratch-and-sniff interiors that reek of cabbage and old shoes.’
- Christine Smallwood, Harper's Magazine



‘Imagine a world in which the Brothers Grimm were two exquisite, black-eyed twin sisters in torn stockings and handstitched velvet dresses. Knowing, baroque, perfect, daring, clever, fastidious, Camilla Grudova is Angela Carter’s natural inheritor. Her style is effortlessly spare and wonderfully seductive. Read her! Love her! She is sincerely strange – a glittering literary gem in a landscape awash with paste and glue and artificial settings.’
- Nicola Barker, author of Darkmans



‘One of the most purely original collections I’ve read, filled with strange and squirmy imagery, monsters and sewing machines and things with many, many legs.’
- Julia Armfield, author of Salt Slow

About the Author

Camilla Grudova is a writer living in Toronto. She holds a degree in Art History and German from McGill University, Montreal. Her stories have appeared in The White Review and Granta.
9781910695371
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The Dolls Alphabet

ISBN: 9781910695371
₹399
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Details
  • ISBN: 9781910695371
  • Author: Camilla Grudova
  • Publisher: Dover Books
  • Pages: 192
  • Format: Paperback

Book Description

Surreal, ambitious, and exquisitely conceived, The Doll's Alpabet is a collection of stories in the tradition of Angela Carter and Margaret Atwood. Dolls, sewing machines, tinned foods, mirrors, malfunctioning bodies many images recur in stories that are in turn child-like and naive, grotesque and very dark. In 'Unstitching', a feminist revolution takes place. In 'Waxy', a factory worker fights to keep hold of her Man in a society where it is frowned upon to be Manless. In 'Agata's Machine', two schoolgirls conjure a Pierrot and an angel in a dank attic room. In 'Notes from a Spider', a half-man, half-spider finds love in a great European city. By constantly reinventing ways to engage with her obsessions and motifs, Camilla Grudova has come up with a method for storytelling that is highly imaginative, incredibly original, and absolutely discomfiting.

 

Review

‘That I cannot say what all these stories are about is a testament to their worth. They have been haunting me for days now. They have their own, highly distinct flavour, and the inevitability of uncomfortable dreams.’
- Nick Lezard, Guardian



‘If fairytales could dream, this nightmarish collection is what you might end up with. Grudova’s closest living counterpart could be Ben Marcus, with whom she shares a heavy debt to Kafka ... But the atmosphere of her fantastical, semi-dystopian settings is so unique and persuasive that the day after finishing the book, I awoke from a dream to realize that it had taken place in Grudova’s universe. ... The author’s surreal humour, often delivered via deadpan dream logic, recalls the startling short stories of Leonora Carrington. Both Carrington and Grudova excel at a certain well-placed, pedestrian literalism that works deliciously against the magical elements in their fiction.’
- Claire Lowdon, Times Literary Supplement



‘The comic grotesqueries that emerge from this collection owe a bit to Dickens, Kafka and Heinrich Hoffmann’s “Der Struwwelpeter,” but their total effect is delightfully unclassifiable.... The Doll's Alphabet is clearly a revisionist undertaking. It unsettles assumptions about motherhood and marriage. But it also separates itself from its feminist predecessors. The world it inhabits – droll, inexplicable and even beautiful in its slovenly fashion – is unlike any other I’ve encountered.’
- Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal



‘This doll’s eye view is a total delight and surveys a world awash with shadowy wit and exquisite collisions of beauty and the grotesque.’
- Helen Oyeyemi, author of Boy, Snow, Bird



The Doll's Alphabet ... has already garnered comparisons to Angela Carter, Margaret Atwood, Leonora Carrington, Ben Marcus, and Franz Kafka. To this list let me add another name: George Orwell. Not the dystopian Orwell of 1984 or the allegorical Orwell of Animal Farm but the down-and-out, grubby-oilcloth Orwell of The Road to Wigan Pier and Keep the Aspidistra Flying. Grudova does mermaids and magic, but she also does moldy, dingy, scratch-and-sniff interiors that reek of cabbage and old shoes.’
- Christine Smallwood, Harper's Magazine



‘Imagine a world in which the Brothers Grimm were two exquisite, black-eyed twin sisters in torn stockings and handstitched velvet dresses. Knowing, baroque, perfect, daring, clever, fastidious, Camilla Grudova is Angela Carter’s natural inheritor. Her style is effortlessly spare and wonderfully seductive. Read her! Love her! She is sincerely strange – a glittering literary gem in a landscape awash with paste and glue and artificial settings.’
- Nicola Barker, author of Darkmans



‘One of the most purely original collections I’ve read, filled with strange and squirmy imagery, monsters and sewing machines and things with many, many legs.’
- Julia Armfield, author of Salt Slow

About the Author

Camilla Grudova is a writer living in Toronto. She holds a degree in Art History and German from McGill University, Montreal. Her stories have appeared in The White Review and Granta.

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