Have you read Brian Evenson, A Contemporary Literary Horror Author?
Praise from Peter Straub:
“Whenever I try to describe the resonant and disturbing literature that Horror, whether acknowledged or not, lately has found itself capable of producing, I find myself alluding to Brian Evenson, along with Graham Joyce and a few others: of these splendid younger writers, Evenson places himself furthest out on the sheerest, least sheltered narrative precipice—narrative at the far edge of narrative possibility—where he can speak clearly and plainly of loss, violence, and pain. THE OPEN CURTAIN is, very simply, a stunning book.”
Tales of Terror will return to regular posts on Tuesday, January 7 with an exciting Lovecraft short, but for this New Year’s Day of 2014, I thought I’d divert from classic 20th-century authors and recommend a modern horror author. I’ve only just recently discovered Brian Evenson with his short story collection “Windeye.”
Evenson’s works are classified not only as literary horror but also as popular fiction, literary minimalism, science fiction, and fiction with touches of violence and humor. He’s written ten books of fiction, won numerous awards including American Library Association Award for Horror in 2009 and a finalist for an Edgar Award to say nothing of the O.Henry prizes and fellowships.
I won’t bore you any further with all his fine credentials because his work stands up magnificently anyway; I will just say this … when I read the short stories in Windeye, I found myself mesmerized by the writing, the storytelling, and of course the compelling lyrical style and faultless prose. Suspense? Oh yes, there’s plenty to keep your eyes on the page and wanting more.
Here’s a basic question that Evenson’s short stories ask: How would you function in an unreal world? In The Other Ear, for example, how would you handle a transplanted ear on the side of your head if the ear began to reveal a voice of its own? Or in his mysterious Windeye (short story title same as book title) about a house that has a secret window. A window that can be seen only on the outside of the attic. The window is called “windeye.” It makes one wonder if wind can look into a house. Hmmmm. Yeah, Evenson is no ordinary writer.
If you are looking to discover an author that’ll bring you into the depths of the darkly imagined, Brian Evanson will escort you in great style. I found his collections of short stories at my local library, but this is certainly an author I will want to have on my shelf.
Here are the opening lines of Windeye
‘They lived, when he was growing up, in a simple house, an old bungalow with a converted attic and sides covered in cedar shake. In the back, where an oak thrust its branches over the roof, the shake was light brown, almost honey. In the front, where the sun struck it full, it had weathered to a pale gray, like a dirty bone.’
‘ … like a dirty bone.’ Do you feel something from that image of a dirty bone? Curious for more?
You can read Windeye free where it was originally published at Pen America
Other Reading Web Sites to Visit
For Authors/Writers: The Writer Unboxed
HAVE THE HAPPIEST NEW YEAR
AND WISHING YOU ALL EVERY SUCCESS IN YOUR READING ENDEAVORS IN 2014!
From Isak Dinesen, author of Out of Africa
“The divine art is the story.”