the weather in fritz bemelmans park

FritzBemelmansCover FRONTstories, by Holly Tavel

ISBN 978-0-9571213-9-3. Paperback. 152pp. Publication date: November 2015. Equus Press: London. Price: € 15.00 (not including postage).

Order direct from Equus Press (paperback only); or via Amazon US / UK; or try the Kindle edition.

If the past is a foreign country, childhood is a vanished civilization filled with mysterious monuments and charming ruins, and always colored by our own wildly unreliable memories.

The 18 stories in this collection offer a kaleidoscopic view of childhood’s forgotten tropes and dizzying leaps of logic, and are by turns hilariously paranoid, discombobulated, claustrophobic, and filled with yearning.  A parrot regales his new owner with an increasingly outrageous story of his own picaresque past; a woman taking care of her aging mad-scientist father is alarmed by his new teenage sidekick; a dying superhero recalls himself and his archnemesis as lonely grade-school outcasts; coma victims become the unwitting vessels of a shadowy weather-control project;  suburbanites, menaced by their material possessions, regress to a prelapsarian state; a trio of bumbling fools in a near-future dystopia try to decide what to do about a giant robot that suddenly appears without explanation.

“Tavel’s fiction has the delicious feel of children’s literature, without being child-like, or for children. Her worlds are magically palpable, rendered in precise detail and a moody palette just beyond reach of reality. They elicit an enormous craving to cross into them and abide there. […] Tavel’s voice is both comic and elegiac, with a deep sadness underlining the absurdity.”—Angela WoodwardBig Other

“Tavel’s stories seem to ask: Why is memory always inevitably in the service of preserving mental homeostasis through suppression, displacement, concealment? Why do we find past memories always already, as it were, pre-processed and re-programmed by present desire? Of course, Tavel’s stories do not & cannot give definite answers to any of these – for good storytelling has far more to do with raising questions than giving answers. But they each ask these questions and think through and around them with sophistication, wit & skill.”—David VichnarEquus Press

“Reading Holly Tavel’s The Weather in Fritz Bemelmans Park is like going to a grand exotic circus where one can see wonders and spectacles in every direction. These stories are fantastical, whimsical, and a provocative delight.”—Robert Lopez (author of Good People)

“In Tavel’s fictional world one finds fugues, rubrics, cartoons, ethnographies of imagined persons, logic tests, prose poems, and surreal fables. Tavel’s stories mix media, registers, and diction as the author leaps and pirouettes across great associations, yet Tavel is never in danger of falling, nor is the conjured world doomed to vanish—the sentences are too finely made. Please open this cabinet of wonders.” —Anthony Tognazzini (author of I Carry A Hammer in My Pocket for Occasions Such As These)

“Precise, perverse, sly, and entrancing, these stories open up layer by layer like Matryoshka dolls. Tavel’s narrators take giddy, surprising leaps – into the animal and the inquisitive, into the superheroic and epic and subjunctive realms. The Weather in Fritz Bemelmans Park is a wonder.”—Nelly Reifler (author of See Through: Stories)



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