Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Shena Mackay: A touch of the Atmospherics


I’ve asked the master short story writer and novelist Shena Mackay to talk to Madame Arcati on the occasion of the publication of her new collection: The Atmospheric Railway: New and Selected Stories. It’s out on November 6, here’s the Amazon link. Fingers crossed.

Fans of her work know her to be a hard-wired original: poetical, mischievous, funny; supremely peculiar; a little sly and certainly dark. Shabbiness seems to do something to her. Dreams of Dead Women’s Handbags has to be one of the oddest fiction titles ever – if you know odder let me know. Many of her stories lyricise the otherwise mundane and domestic. “A utopia in Croyden?” asks a review of her novel Heligoland. One character is described as having “the face of a cruel spoon.” Almost Dali-esque.

She loves cats.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I may be misunderstanding things, but why on earth have you added labels like Martin Amis to this item? Or the late Robert Tewdwr Moss? Why?

Madame Arcati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Madame Arcati said...

To advertise a small number of items that may be of some literary interest, poppet. There there. I wouldn't want to get a reputation for just flaunting celeb cock pics: I mean, the Grey Cardie in Press Gazette refers to me as Madame PhotoShop, the impudent old grey pubes that he is. Whatever happened to Press Gazette? I see even Madame Popbitch writes for it occasionally though nothing she says sticks in the mind. Sad.

Madame Arcati said...

Oh, and Shena has agreed to the interview.

Jody said...

"Dreams of Dead Women’s Handbags" has to be one of the oddest fiction titles ever – if you know odder let me know.

So chuffed that you love Shena Mackay too, Madame!

I've reread her Babies in Rhinestones -one of the much earlier collections - probably 3 or 4 times. Brilliant, very funny, often unsettling....basically flawless stuff.

My favorite title (I live in NY, hence spelling) has to be And To My Nephew Albert I Leave The Island What I Won Off Fatty Hagan In A Poker Game.

Google tells me it's by one David Forrest - but my teenage memory insists this novel was actually co-written by two relatively well known comic authors - many, many years ago (my parents had it). The book wasn't bad - a broad comedy caper -but the title was better.

Madame Arcati said...

Thank you Jody, that title is weird. The Shena interview will be along soon. MA x