Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Five top works involving weird, unsettling isolation

Liz Harmer's debut novel is The Amateurs. She is working on a second novel, and a story collection, which was a finalist for the 2014 Flannery O'Connor Short Fiction Award.

At Tor.com she tagged five works involving weird, unsettling isolation, including:
The Sundial by Shirley Jackson

The Sundial is one of Jackson’s lesser known works, behind novels like We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Haunting of Hill House, and, of course, her story “The Lottery.” It is hilarious, absurd, and cruel: a sundial in the middle of a large property reads “WHAT IS THIS WORLD?” Indeed. One horrible rich person starts receiving visions and the other horrible rich people become her believers, even as they snipe at each other. The Sundial offers humor, cultish behavior, and brutal commentary: “Only rabid animals and humans turn on each other,” one character thinks. It delivers the empty earth awe feeling filtered through a particularly WASPy stiff upper lip.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue