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Holiday: Stories (2010)
by M. Rickert
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Holiday is a themed collection of short stories and novellas by Mary Rickert aka M. Rickert, winner of the Nebula, International Horror Guild, World Fantasy and Crawford Awards. Dark fantasy, magical realism, myth and (quiet) horror -- though, I dare you to read Mary's stories and fit them into just one tidy little box. And don't expect simple, literal "holiday" stories; think, Joe Hill's exploration of "ghosts" in 20th Century Ghosts. From the Introduction:
"Not everyone has happy holidays; the stories collected here are not, for the most part, what I would call happy. I am inclined not to call them sad either...People sometimes find my stories strange, but what could be stranger than life? For me, I choose to celebrate the strange, the misshapen, the forgotten, even the inevitable death. For many people this is not what holidays are all about. For me, this is what everything is about. (ix)"
I absolutely loved that I had no idea where each story was going. So often I find myself, without conscious effort, predicting what's happening, where it will end. Not the case with Holiday. I'd recommend this collection to anyone who favors the darker side of fiction with deeper meaning, heart and maybe even truth, but only if they don't mind mashed up genres or ambiguous endings.
After The Memory Garden and now this collection, I must read everything I can get my hands on by Mary Rickert.
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Golden Gryphon (62)
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Wikipedia in English (1)
Exploring new way to look at old festivities, this mysterious, tradition-themed collection offers twisted tales of dark fantasy. Chronologically moving through a calendar year, the first story "New Year's Day," features a woman's transformation into a deer acts as a metaphor for her struggle and acceptance of terminal cancer. A son is lost, but a wolf is gained in the Father's Day offering of "Don't Ask," while a little girl tortures the garden faeries on her summer vacation and meets an unfortunate fate in "Was She Wicked? Was She Good?" The Veteran's Day narrative entitled "War Is Beautiful" follows a soldier tortured by his term in Vietnam who befriends a Vietnamese girl -- who might actually be a ghost -- while local children are collecting bones in "The Christmas Witch." Utilising the viewpoints of the young and innocent to express unspeakable horrors, these 11 eerie narratives delve into secret thoughts, trauma, and loss yet still offer a wisp of redemption.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813 — Literature English (North America) American fiction
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This is my first exposure to Rickert but I think I have another somewhere if I can only find it... ( )