Synopses & Reviews
The eleven stories and one novella of Mother Box, and Other Tales
bring together everyday reality and something that is dramatically not in compelling narratives of new possibilities.
In language that is both barb and bauble, bitter and unbearably sweet, Sarah Blackman spins the threads of stories where everything is probable and nothing is constant. The stories in Mother Box, and Other Tales occur in an in-between world of outlandish possibility that has become irrefutable reality: a woman gives birth to seven babies and realizes at one of their weddings that they were foxes all along; a girl with irritating social quirks has been raised literally by cardboard boxes; a young woman throws a dinner party only to have her elaborate dessert upstaged by one of the guests who, as it turns out, is the moon. Love between mothers and children is a puzzling thrum that sounds at the very edge of hearing; a muted pulse that, nevertheless, beats and beats and beats.
In these tales, the prosaic details of everyday lifeandmdash;a half-eaten sandwich, an unopened pack of letters on a tableandmdash;take on fevered significance as the characters blunder into revelations that occlude even as they unfold.
andldquo;These lucid stories hearken to the spiritual and cerebral fiction of Katherine Mansfield and Joy Williams.and#160;and#160;They breathtakingly faceand#160;what comes nextand#160;
in the worldandmdash;whether terrible snout or beautiful childandmdash;hallucinating what is entirely real.andrdquo;andmdash;Kate Bernheimer, author of The Complete Tales of Lucy Gold
and Horse, Flower, Bird
andldquo;Sarah Blackman is a wizard at rendering the odd intricacies of the domestic sphere.and#160;Her insights are stunning, her eye is keen, and her sentences are unbudgeably right.and#160;An excellent debut.andrdquo;andmdash;Noy Holland, author of Swim for the Little One First
and#147;It is a triumph when a sentiment as banal as and#147;One must travel around and pick things up and put them down againand#8221; nevertheless sounds profound; or when a sentiment as bizarre as and#147;She would be a body and next, who knew?, a houseand#8221; seems undeniable and even inevitable. This can only be a result of Blackmanand#8217;s carefully measured prose. And when it comes to storytelling and the enrapture of her audience, Blackman again excels. Consider, for instance, the eerie and#147;Many Things, Including This,and#8221; or and#147;Conversation,and#8221; or and#147;The Dinner Party,and#8221; all tales that kept this reader turning pages, eager to dispel the dread that hangs over them and to find out what happens next.and#8221; and#151;Kenyon Review Online
The eleven stories and one novella of Mother Box, and Other Tales bring together everyday reality and something that is dramatically not in compelling narratives of new possibilities.
About the Author
is the director of creative writing at the Fine Arts Center, a public arts high school, and a fiction editor at Diagram
. She lives in Greenville, South Carolina, with the poet John Pursley III and their daughter, Helen.