By Leslie Lindsay
A blazingly stark yet lush and surreal tale that will shock and injure your world, no matter how comfortable you think it is.
~WeekEND Reading: Spotlight~
I’m dubbing this week, “Fantastical Fiction Week.” I mean, wow. I read two books (see Wednesday’s interview with Vikram Paralkar on NIGHT THEATER) that absolutely blew me away and are very closely related in terms of themes, writing style, and genre. And this genre is a slippery one to pin down. Some call it speculative fiction, others say it’s magical realism. Others still might liken it to horror or gothic or even a fairy tale. All agree it’s imaginative and stark and might include elements of science fiction. I find it thought-provoking, literary, dreamy, hallucinatory, mysterious, and at times, terrifying.
“This is a weird hallucination of a book—reading it feels like an experience, like something that happens to you, as infectious and mysterious and unstoppable and possibly magical as the disease that powers its plot.”
A young woman called Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital. A boy named David sits beside her. He is not her son. She is not her mother. Just what is their relationship? Together, they tell the most haunting tale of broken souls, toxins, motherhood, sunshine, looming environmental and spiritual catastrophes, anxieties, and the ties that bind parent to child–the ‘safety distance,’ the metaphorical rope a mother uses to gauge safety of her children in the world.
Just what is FEVER DREAM (Riverhead, May 2018)? An actual dream? A novel? A horror tale? A hallucination? It is a ghost story? A prayer? A love letter? A cautionary tale? I don’t know. And I don’t care. It’s amazing. Here, Samanta Schweblin creates a dreamy aura of strange psychological menace and otherworldly light in this absorbing, taut, tension-filled, highly unsettling and ambivalent novel. I promise you, FEVER DREAM is like nothing you’ve read before, and you better read it now.
If you want more like this, try THE NEED by Helen Phillips, NAAMAH by Sarah Blake, THE BOBCAT by Katherine Forbes Riley, IN THE HOUSE IN THE DARK OF THE WOODS by Laird Hunt, and NIGHT THEATER by Vikram Paralkar.
Artistic photo of book designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow on Instagram @leslielindsay1 for more like this and other bookish things.
For more information, to connect with Samanta Schweblin via social media, or to purchase a copy of FEVER DREAM, please visit:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Samanta Schweblin was chosen as one of the 22 best writers in Spanish under the age of 35 by Granta. She is the author of three story collections that have won numerous awards, including the prestigious Juan Rulfo Story Prize, and been translated into 20 languages. Fever Dream is her first novel and is longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize. Originally from Buenos Aires, she lives in Berlin.
You can connect with me, Leslie Lindsay, via these websites:
I hope you do!
- Facebook: LeslieLindsayWriter
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Leslie Lindsay is the award-winning author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012). Her work has been published in Pithead Chapel, Common Ground Review, Cleaver Magazine (craft and CNF), The Awakenings Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Ruminate’s The Waking, Brave Voices Literary Magazine, Manifest-Station, and others. Her cover art will be featured on Up the Staircase Quarterly in May 2020 and the 2nd edition of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA will be available this spring. Leslie has been awarded one of the top 1% reviewers on GoodReads and recognized by Jane Friedman as one of the most influential book reviewers. Since 2013, Leslie has interviewed over 700 bestselling and debut authors on her author interview series. Follow her bookstagram posts @leslielindsay1.
SECOND EDITION OF SPEAKING OF APRAXIA COMING SOON FROM WOODBINE HOUSE
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ALSO by Samanta Schweblin:
[Cover and author image retrieved from author’s website on 2.13.20. Author photo cred: Alejandra Lopez. Artistic photo of book designed and photographed by me, Leslie Lindsay. Follow on Instagram @leslielindsay1 for more like this and other bookish things]