08 Nov 2012
by Jeffrey Thomas
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Cheeky Frawg Books, the publishing imprint of Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer (recent winners of the World Fantasy Award for their anthology THE WEIRD), is releasing a fascinating new short story collection: JAGANNATH, by Karin Tidbeck.
The publisher describes the book thusly:
Enter the strange and wonderful world of Swedish writer Karin Tidbeck with this feast of darkly fantastical stories. Whether through the falsified historical record of the uniquely weird Swedish creature known as the “Pyret” or the title story, “Jagannath,” about a biological ark in the far future, Tidbeck’s unique imagination will enthrall, amuse, and unsettle you. How else to describe a collection that includes “Cloudberry Jam,” a story that opens with the line “I made you in a tin can”? Marvels, quirky character studies, and outright surreal monstrosities await you in what is likely to be one of the most talked-about short story collections of the year. Introduction by Elizabeth Hand.
Praise for Jagannath:
“I have never read anything like Jagannath. Karin Tidbeck’s imagination is recognisably Nordic, but otherwise unclassifiable–quietly, intelligently, unutterably strange. And various. And ominous. And funny. And mysteriously tender. These are wonderful stories.” – Ursula K. Le Guin
“Restrained and vivid, poised and strange, Tidbeck, with her impossible harmonies, is a vital voice.” – China Miéville
“Tidbeck has a gift for the uncanny and the unsettling. In these wonderful, subtle stories, magic arrives quietly. It comes from the forests or the earth or was always there in your own family or maybe exists in another realm entirely…leaving you slightly dazed and more than a little enchanted.” – Karen Joy Fowler
“Were this collection to contain only its biomechanoid wonder of a title story, it would still be amazing. Jagganath heralds the arrival of a bold and brilliant new voice, which I see too few of these days. You must read Karin Tidbeck.” – Caitlín R. Kiernan
“In Karin Tidbeck’s collection Jagannath, the mundane becomes strange and the strange familiar with near-Hitchcockian subtlety. I loved Tidbeck’s clean, classic prose. It creates beautifully eerie music for a twilight domain.” – Karen Lord
About the Author:
Karin Tidbeck has become something of a sensation in her native country, having published a collection there in Swedish, won a prestigious literary grant and just sold her first novel to Sweden’s largest publisher. A graduate of the iconic Clarion Writer’s Workshop at the University of California, San Diego, in 2010, her publication history includes Weird Tales, Shimmer Magazine, Strange Horizons, Unstuck Annual, Steampunk Revolution, and the anthology Odd.
Recommended for fans of:
Kelly Link, Elizabeth Hand, Karen Russell, Lauren Groff, Ursula K. Le Guin, and China Mieville.
Story behind the stories:
Although Sweden and other Scandinavian countries have become famous for their mystery fiction, Tidbeck’s success points to the rise of unique writers of fantasy, magic realism, and the surreal from that area. Discussions online of “Finnish Weird” and Swedish Weird” speak to an untapped wealth of talent in the region that will soon be introduced to English-language audiences.
Cheeky Frawg is a literary imprint founded by Hugo Award-winner Ann VanderMeer and her husband World Fantasy Award winner Jeff VanderMeer. Cheeky Frawg focuses on translations and international fiction. Other current and future offerings from this publisher include iconic Nigerian writer Amos Tutuola’s Don’t Pay Bad for Bad & Other Stories and critically acclaimed Finnish writer Leena Krohn’s novel Datura http://cheekyfrawg.com
ISBN-10: 0985790407 * ISBN-13: 978-0-9857904-0-0 * $11.99 trade paper / 160 pages / November 15, 2012 World-wide release date / E-book also available
(For more information, contact Jeff VanderMeer at firstname.lastname@example.org)
NPR has just run a review of the book that can be read here: http://www.npr.org/2012/10/31/164055676/book-review-jagannath