Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Seeing More Red

One of the pleasures of discovering an author is discovering their favorites and influences. This has definitely been the case with Manual of Detection author, Jedediah Berry (I love his name!). Evidence from his novel reveals the expected Kafka (read in school) and Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep, especially the movie). Reading interviews and his blog reveal other pleasantly surprising influences. Fairy tales, magical realism, and Italo Calvino can be added to the list. He got to tour Edward Gorey's house and used that as inspiration for one of his short stories -- appearing in the anthology Cape Cod Noir (next on my reading list).

One name that showed up as influential was Angela Carter. I'd never heard the name before and was curious. Can you say "Red Riding Hood meets the Werewolf"? Angela Carter is a late-century British author known for her gothic- surreal-protofeminine-magical realist fiction. Okay, so I made that up. I needed a basket to put all of her in. I've ordered a collection of her short stories and will report back when I've read a few. Meanwhile, there is a movie made from one of her short stories : The Company of Wolves. Anyone seen it?


Stacie Carver said...

I was luck enough to pick up the Manual of Detection in the bargain bin for about $3. Pretty sweet find

Melanie said...

Definitely a treat! The more I read about him and his influences, the more impressed I am with the story. Makes even better reading the second time around!

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