Sunday, April 24, 2016

Deserving attention …

… The Sin Eater: Alice Thomas Ellis and the Gothic Tradition - Los Angeles Review of Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

When I first read Unexplained Laughter, what struck me most forcibly was Ellis’s unprecedented attitude toward the supernatural. The laughter is not essential to the plot. The tale of what happens to Lydia on her vacation would not be substantially altered if the laughter were not present at all. Ellis does not focus her story on the astonishing existence of the paranormal. Instead, she weaves this element into the fabric of her tale, making the laughter a fundamental part of life in this place, as common and unremarked as sunlight. I have rarely seen magic treated this way in fiction: as something that is both essential and incidental.
I read some of her stuff years ago and was quite impressed.

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