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Mansfield with Monsters by Matt Cowens

Mansfield with Monsters

by Matt Cowens

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This (to my knowledge) is the first New Zealand example of the mash-up genre - it's superficially in the tradition of such books as [Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters], but in fact the spirit of this book is much more respectful towards the original stories by Katherine Mansfield, the great New Zealand short story writer of the early 20th century.

How well these Mansfield-with-added-horror stories work depends for me on the tone of the original stories (some but not all of which I'm familiar with). There is a good dose of New Zealand gothic in Mansfield stories such as "The Woman at the Store", and the extra elements of horror work very well here. In some of the other stories, they didn't work quite so well for me - but overall, the concept pays off and Matt and Debbie Cowens have done a very good job with this book. ( )
  timjones | Oct 5, 2012 |
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Katherine Mansfield is one of New Zealand's most famous and influential writers. While her work is well known, many will be surprised to learn that the 'accepted' versions of her stories are often pale reflections of the original manuscripts.Mansfield with Monsters is the first time that Mansfield's vision of the supernatural has been published in full - a dream that she often spoke of in her correspondence with occultist Aleister Crowley and American author H. P. Lovecraft. Matt and Debbie Cowens have pieced together recently recovered fragments of her work, recreating Mansfield's beloved tales as they were first written, complete with vampires, ghouls, and alien monsters. These versions will shock and delight those in the literary community who always suspected that there was more to Mansfield's work than we had been led to believe. Mansfield once wrote, "don't lower your mask until you have another mask prepared beneath-as terrible as you like-but a mask." While we may never know Mansfield's true face or fate, Matt and Debbie Cowens are proud to draw back the public mask of one of our most beloved authors to reveal the more chilling one beneath.… (more)

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