Piranesi's Figures by Hannah CalderPiranesi's Figures by Hannah Calder

Piranesi's Figures

byHannah Calder

Paperback | May 26, 2016

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"Reading Calder is to move through the world barefoot over asphalt, grass, sand and water. This is sensual, insightful writing." - Michael Turner, author of 8 X 10 and The Pornographer's Poem Piranesi's Figures is a romp through the magnificent psychological ruins of at least two marriages and one attempt at child-rearing, and a gleefully reckless contortion of novelistic conventions, sexual practices, and family dynamics. As in her first novel, More House, Hannah Calder peers into hidden corners and under creaking beds with such relentless abandon that even her own characters bristle at her advances. The result is a dense witches-brew of storytelling, a feminist-tinged fairy-tale that drapes the dirtiest secrets of domestic wreckage and illicit love in fancy dress and commands them to twirl around for our amusement.
Hannah Calder was born in the UK and moved to Canada when she was fifteen. She has lived in Barcelona, Seoul, and Vancouver, and currently lives in Vernon, BC, where she teaches English at Okanagan College. Her first novel, More House, was published in 2009 by New Star Books.
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by Hannah Calder

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Title:Piranesi's FiguresFormat:PaperbackDimensions:234 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.62 inPublished:May 26, 2016Publisher:NEW STAR BOOKSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1554201128

ISBN - 13:9781554201129

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Customer Reviews of Piranesi's Figures

Reviews

Read from the Book

Prologue: It was the kind of dream that could fill a book. In all caps the word NINEVEH appeared. Just like that. Straight out of the pit of Jung's lungs. A menorah was there too, candle-free, out of service. Jonah's hair is long and black, shiny like the wet skin of a killer whale. He wears sandals and has a tea-towel over his head held in place by a piece of string that I found in the shed. His skin is pale like the eyelashes of the nativity play angel that taunts me with her blonde ambition.The whale blubber in the black and white encyclopedia looks cozy enough, but if it is like the scum that rises from the pan of boiling animal parts that stinks up my grandfather's house and makes his four dogs slobber, I would not want to live in it for three days and three nights.But a split-open whale is different to a live one ploughing through kelp and creatures, lit up by Pinocchio's match, water sloshing in and out and up and down its breathy bones. Jonah lives in the whale's belly for three days and three nights. A miracle! When he emerges he is gut covered, painted the colour of blood, raisined at the fingers and toes. The dream does its job. Then it leaves in its place a hole where a story can burrow in and root itself. An empty skull, shaken free of its weird and hard to explain or remember images, brain stuff scooped out.The unconscious, long whistled back to the collective pool where it can recharge and enter another newborn's head, houses the dream story. It sits on a mossy mound open to the four winds, the thousand rains, the one sun, open to the once-upon-a-time and happily-ever-after that mate with violent persistence inside the writer's head.

Editorial Reviews

A compelling and dreamlike tone poem of a book, illuminated by lyricism and deep human wisdom. The fact that she weaves this sumptuous dream garment out of the materials of dirty jokes and widely variegated scraps of cultural reference makes her achievement all the more impressive.... A work of serious literary ambition and substantial achievement. -Tom Sandborn, Vancouver Sun