A Bookseller Reflects on 2020 Reading

For the first few months of shelter in place, I didn’t get much done, but I did spend many fabulously long hours lying in the sun working my way through the collected works of Jane Austen. When the weather began to change in October, I started rereading Moby Dick — the perfect adventure when all you can do is stay home. Books can provide us with a welcome escape from reality at times when we need it most. …

By Leonora Carrington. Introduction by Kathryn Davis. Dorothy, a publishing project, 2017. 215pp. $16.

However much they deserve to be carefully savored, these stories are impossible not to immediately devour. Leonora Carrington is a master of the surreal, the evocative, and the macabre. With her Complete Stories, collected in one volume for the first time, the Dorothy Project has given us all a gift.

Born in 1917 in England, Carrington is perhaps better known for her paintings, but her distinctive tone disregards medium to flavor prose that is, simply, scorching. …

By Kjersti A. Skomsvold. Translated from the Norwegian by Kerri A. Pierce. Dalkey Archive Press, 2009. 147pp. $17.95.

Kjersti A. Skomsvold’s The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am is a brief yet riveting glimpse into the life of a lonely and fearful old woman named Mathea Martinsen.

Nobody notices Mathea; in fact, nobody has ever noticed Mathea. She doesn’t leave her apartment much, and she didn’t really talk to anybody except for her husband, Epsilon, who is now dead. As she puts it, “It’s possible that my next-door neighbors, June and his mother, know I exist,” but “even if…

Kalie McGuirl

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