Shortly after I read this and recommended it to a writer friend, I wrote in an email:
“Some of Diane Williams’ sentences make my head spin – it’s like someone deconstructing their thoughts on to the page, I found I could feel my brain putting things back together.”
I probably can’t add anything more insightful now. Some of Williams’ thoughts and trains of thought are just weird and exhilirating. These are stories you have to commit too fully and enjoy.
This is a wonderful set of short stories which I raced through because I was enjoying them so much. The narrator of each could be the same character – they share a sense of wonder, maybe a little naivety, a raw morality. Unge presents us with a constant stream of reality, events are presented to us, simply described, one after another, as if we are not to judge but merely observe.
This is a wunderkammer that thrums with life – the kind of life that is a bit deathy. If it is reminiscent of anything it is of Eraserhead, the 1978 debut film from David Lynch – it’s there in the sense of displacement, sense of terror in everyday living. These are stories that somehow make a noise – the steady churn of a bleak dystopian industrial landscape – but which are illuminated with chimes of luminescent gothic ornamentation.