Posts Tagged ‘a unicorn is born’

Wide Eyed

August 21, 2011

I was really into this but here’s the thing, don’t make the same mistake I did: don’t read this short story collection all in one day, because there is a lot of sugar in it. It’s like eating a quart of ice cream in one sitting or something. I mean the metaphor doesn’t really work because the ice cream would have to have something grim or brutal in it, not as the primary ingredient but definitely as one of the primary ingredients- like, chocolate, hemlock and peanut butter, or vanilla strawberry glass shards. Which makes it sound like an Urban Decay ad in Spin from ten years ago or something, but the way these stories are laid out, it both seems totally appropriate that she also wrote a book called A Unicorn is Born that’s just about unicorn culture and birth and also appropriate that this book was published under Dennis Cooper’s Little House on the Bowery imprint of Akashic.

(being published by an imprint of Akashic is unimpeachably cool btw)

Actually having Dennis Cooper was a useful reference point- the only other thing I’d read by Ms Dalton was Sweet Tomb, one of those (also unimpeachably cool) square little Madras Press books, the cover of which looked like it involved a lot of tracings of pictures of women in slutty halloween witch costumes. Which actually also is a pretty good metaphor for what her writing is like… but anyway Cooper’s a good reference point for the way that she is just talking, in the vernacular, and her boyfriend Matt shows up a few times, and most of these stories are not narratively shaped like- I dunno- the stories of some classic short story writer who works within litfic genre constraints. I can’t think of anybody. Some character on a sitcom whose occupation is “writer.” ANYWAY what I am trying to say is that it seems like Dalton just kind of turns her obsessions over and over in her mouth and on the page the same way Cooper does, except her obsessions are like unicorns and witchy magic and animals instead of dazed gay teenagers and consensual mutilation. I’m into it I just got excited and overdosed on it. I did order a copy of A Unicorn is Born though so I will keep you posted.

[at powells]

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