MONTERRA'S DELICIOSA & OTHER TALES

Anna Tambour, Author, Keith Brooke, Introduction by . Prime $29.95 (264p) ISBN 978-1-894815-94-9

A winning, offbeat sensibility is at work in the 31 stories and poems that make up Tambour's first fiction collection, finding the lighter side of potentially sober themes and giving humanist spins to scientific ideas. "Me-Too" winks at the unpredictability of human behavior in its account of cloned children corrupted by a mutant genius gene who upset their ordinary family's chances for a normal life in their class-conscious society. The title story is a giddy study of the socioeconomic impact cannibalism has on a tropical island, once the inhabitants discover that their flesh is a highly desirable—and lucrative—commodity on the gourmet market. Certain tales show an exotic spirit that puts them squarely in the magic realist tradition, while others reflect self-consciousness about the craft of writing, as in "Call Me Omniscient," a clever trifle in which the personified omniscient viewpoint discusses the difficulty it has working with a mediocre romance writer. Several of the best stories are narrated from unconventional perspectives, such as "Valley of the Sugars of Salt," which includes the thoughts of an orchard of trees whose ugly but delicious fruit offer a lovely parable on inner beauty. All but a handful of these stories are original to the volume, which makes a fine introduction to a writer little known outsider her native Australia. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 12/22/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 264 pages - 978-1-894815-95-6
Show other formats
FORMATS
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X