Book Review - Interfictions 2

Friday, February 12, 2010

I was sent Interfictions 2: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing by a friend of mine who also happens to be a contributing author to this collection of stories. I have to be honest, I didn't know what Interfictions were or what Interstitial Arts were when I first received the book to review. I felt a little stupid for that but as I don't enjoy much being stupid I set about figuring it all out. My first stop was the Interstitial Arts Foundation and between their website and the book itself I found that I greatly enjoy Interfictions and other Interstitial arts and have for some time. Actually all the time I can remember enjoying art, I have always liked the stuff that crosses boundaries. Art within rigid boundaries is enjoyable too but who's to say it has to be that way?

Interfictions 2 is a great example of how many different forms Interfictions can take. For myself I thought for some reason Interfictions had to be science fiction in some way but that is so so so wrong. It's simply skirting genres and bending traditional literary "rules" there are many stories in this anthology with no science fiction or "fantasy" at all. My absolute favorites are hard to pick but I have two. Valentines by Shira Lipkin and Afterbirth by Stephanie Shaw.
First off let me be honest, Shira is the friend who sent me the book but here is what surprised me, her story really is one of my favorites. I have tons of faith in her and her writing but other than her livejournal I had never read any of it. I am a brutally honest person and I was so hoping I would just love her story. As soon as the book arrived I skipped right to it and read it immediately, then I read it again and then again when I actually got to her story again chronologically. I loved it, I got it, my husband suffers from occasional unexplained epilepsy, the traveling between worlds as described in Shira's Valentines seems to happen to him as well, I have never experienced it myself but I see it happening to him and so when I read this story each piece fell into place in my mind without a moments hesitation, there was no translation needed I just accepted it and understood.
I have a three year old little boy and although I do not go around all day thinking about his birth I can say it is there as a solid life experience and can be easily reclaimed and relived. Afterbirth is a great story about the just before and the actual birth of her children. There's only one little hitch, dragons. They are just there, in the bedroom, in the delivery room and in the OR. If you have ever given birth you will know that despite how incredibly bizarre the dragons in this story may be it is spot on. How do you put into words the crazy, chaos that is happening all around you in the weeks leading up to the birth of your kids and then the actual delivery? Well, if you are Stephanie Shaw you don't put it in words so much as give the feelings characters all their own.

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