news | Wednesday May 20, 2015

Book Review: Quartermain’s blend of poetry and fiction

Meredith Quartermain’s new book I, Bartleby has just been reviewed by Daniel Green for Full Stop, an online publication that focuses on debuts, works in translation, and books published by small presses. Read the full review online, or enjoy extracts here:

…a number of … writers do blur the boundaries between prose and poetry, from both sides of the diminishing line between the two, and among those should be counted the Canadian Meredith Quartermain, whose new book I, Bartleby is labeled ‘short stories’ on its cover but surely does come close to making that line all but imperceptible, if not simply irrelevant. …

[The early sections produce] less than a well-ordered story but more than disconnected utterances. Other sections of the book offer longer pieces, although they too can’t really be called short stories in any conventional sense. …

I, Bartleby is the kind of book some readers undoubtedly could find disorienting in its initial reluctance to provide those markers we most associate with ‘short stories.’ By the end, however, the book has made its own alternative, less commonplace strategies sufficiently recognizable that going back to the beginning and re-reading, especially given the book’s relative brevity (118 pages), can be a highly rewarding experience, as Quartermain’s achievement becomes more distinctly visible.

I, Bartleby is available for $15.

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