She admits she is pleased when the new placard is raised,
"Madame Tussaud's House of Wax." She stands in the crowd with
François at her side. He leans close enough to touch her ear with
the fringe of his mustache and whispers, "What part of the museum
would the famous Madame Tussaud like to survey on her inaugural
"The Chamber of Horrors, I think," she says softly.
"Really, my dear? All that grim fantasy and blood?"
"There is no fantasy about it, François. It is an embryo, a
showing of what is to come."
Blending historical fiction with fantasy and the macabre, Adam
McOmber's debut short story collection brings the influence of
Angela Carter, Isak Dinesen, and Edgar Allan Poe to the next
generation. In "The Automatic Garden," a solitary architect from
the court at Versailles builds a water-powered pleasure garden; in
"There Are No Bodies Such as This," we read a haunted and romantic
fiction about the creation of Madame Tussaud's wax museum; in
"Fall, Orpheum," a small town movie palace becomes the temple for
an entire town's devotion and sacrifice. McOmber seamlessly blends
history, artifice, and desire to create a dream of the past that
intertwines with our own notions of modern life.
Adam McOmber's stories appear in
Conjunctions, StoryQuarterly, Third
Coast, The Greensboro Review, Arts &
Letters, and Quarterly West. He is assistant director
of creative nonfiction at Columbia College Chicago and associate
editor of the literary magazine Hotel Amerika.