Sunday, 4 April 2010
Are they funny, are they dead?
Are they funny, are they dead? by Marjorie Ann Watts – a collection of stories described by Salley Vickers as ‘shrewdly observed and wickedly funny’ – is available now from the CBe website and (for trade orders) from Central Books. Back in a a previous era of publishing, before ebooks and email and indeed e-anything, the author worked as an art editor and illustrator of children’s books (including Catherine Storr’s Marianne Dreams) and wrote and illustrated a series of her own books for children. These new stories are for adults – their subjects include death, the slipperiness of memory and the absurdities of the emotional tangles in which adults get caught up – but they are written with a childlike alertness and irreverence, and a sense of wonder too. Try them.
Audio recordings of two of the stories are downloadable from Spoken Ink. Spoken Ink is a fine place: devoted to the short story, it includes recordings of work by contemporary writers (both the ones you’ve heard of – James Salter, Margaret Atwood, A. S. Byatt, A. L. Kennedy – and the ones you haven’t, yet) and by the old masters too (Kipling, Chekhov, Joyce, Wilde, Poe, Conan Doyle, many others).