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The Empress and the Cake by Linda Stift
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The Empress and the Cake (2007)

by Linda Stift

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171825,256 (3.25)4

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» See also 4 mentions

A compelling short book about compulsion, cake, and duck presses. A meeting with an Frau Hohenembs in a cake shop leads the narrator to relapse into her eating disorder as her relationship with the lady deepens and becomes more dependent. Frau Hohenembs believes she is the Empress Elizabeth (or perhaps she really is), and the narrator is drawn into being an accomplice in actions to regain the Empress's possessions (including a duck press and a cocaine syringe). The book is well paced, so that none of this seems too out-of-place as it happens; like the narrator, we are drawn gradually but inescapably into Frau Hohenembs world.

This is another great fit in Peirene Press's fairy tales series. It is up-to-date and avoids fairy tale cliche whilst maintaining an unheimlich atmosphere. It is just other enough to haunt, whilst being rooted enough in the everyday to resonate with the readers own compulsions, whatever they may be. Like the best literature it is a mirror on ourselves as well as a window in the world. Jamie Bulloch's translation rounds off a fantastic year from Periene Press. ( )
1 vote rrmmff2000 | Nov 2, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Linda Stiftprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bulloch, JamieTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
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