Saturday, June 25, 2022

Ten essential works of fabulist fiction

Kathryn Harlan received an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she now teaches writing. She was the recipient of the 2019 August Derleth Graduate Creative Writing Prize. Her work has appeared in the Gettysburg Review, Strange Horizons, and elsewhere.

Harlan's debut short story collection is Fruiting Bodies.

At Publishers Weekly she tagged ten favorite works of fabulist fiction, including:
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

For me, Her Body and Other Parties was a lesson in what a talented writer could do with genre. The collection embraces its genre influences, regarding them with an eye that is sometimes loving and sometimes critical, but always fascinated. Machado’s stories are adventurous in both form and content—“Especially Heinous” is told through a series of imagined Law & Order SVU episodes, while “Inventory” grants us glimpses of an unfolding apocalypse through the narrator’s descriptions of her sexual encounters—and each offers its own unique angle on themes of identity, intimacy, and violence.
Read about another entry on the list.

Her Body and Other Parties is among Ruth Gilligan's eight books about feminist folklore.

--Marshal Zeringue