Ceridwen Dovey

  • Fugue State

    Brian Evenson’s five short-fiction collections and four novels are wonderfully difficult to categorize. Recognizable as literary fiction, but with strong undertows of horror and mystery, his style is all the more intriguing for defying classification. The stories in Fugue State will not disappoint, for Evenson extends his obsession with the uncanny and the unhinged that has won him a small but loyal following.

    The cannibals, murdered ex-wives, and abandoned little girls who people these stories are not intended to titillate but instead point up Evenson’s chilling insight: that true terror


    It has been eight years since Australian writer Julia Leigh’s debut novel, The Hunter, was published in the US to warm reviews. The length of this interval makes the brevity of her second book, Disquiet (described as “a story” on its cover), all the more notable. Both works have fundamental similarities: dysfunctional families made brutal by trauma; remote, fablelike settings; and the theme of survival. But the hostilities of the wild in The Hunter have been replaced by the savagery of the domestic.

    Disquiet at first has a slow-burning, foreboding atmosphere. It opens with Olivia and her two