Monday, 7 October 2013

Ebooks, news and reviews

'Pelt and Other Stories' is out on ebook! So rev up your Kindles and if you haven't already delved into these stories, how about ordering a copy? It will sizzle on your screen.

More reviews and comments are in and this writer sat flabbergasted on her bed this morning, just after the dawn run to the bus stop, reading and rereading some of these comments. I gulped down my Goldilocks-warm porridge as the rain PELTed outside. Have a squizz:

Her prose is at once lyrical and staccato, not distracted so much as ambitious – constantly moving forward. I’m talking about paragraphs like: “I was passed Ray’s version of a Tequila sunrise. I wandered out to change my dress. Afterwards, the restaurant had hard lights and the huge, unwieldy bike they’d stolen for me must have belonged to a post-Aryan giantess./ I read Hemingway that week.”...The eighteen stories collected here are transporting and vivid, dark but never sorry for themselves. Harriet Alida Lye, Editor of Her Royal Majesty Literary and Arts Review

The stories are miniature marvels in the manifestation of orientalizing of the African not just by Europeans and Americans but by returned citizens.  The stories show us how hard it is to return home unchanged.   These stories are not about ignorant hateful prejudice.   McNamara is too knowing and intelligent for that.  They are about the very great difficulties of escaping from our deep conditioning, our unseen frames of reference.   The stories are also fun to read.  Lots of interesting things happen, there is some sex, women eyeballing each other, and a strong sense of humor and fun.  Mel U, prolific reviewer on Rereading Lives Blog

I've read half a dozen stories in random order, and can't get 'Nathalie' out of my mind. Mark Reynolds, Fiction Editor, Bookanista.

(I'm) currently three stories in, all three of which have been corkers. Dan Powell, writer and blogger

The body comes to liquid life in your prose. You write richly, and beautifully and convincingly from many characters' perspectives and points of view. Many of your stories explore culture, race, sexuality and gender. One reason I think your narratives are so convincing is your interesting use of syntax, really adds fabric to the characterisation.. Rachel Fenton, Snow Like Thought Blog

And lastly, a big, fat 5-star Amazon review!! Thank you MarcusP!

Subtitled Tales of Lust and Dirt, the stories in Pelt are indeed quite lusty and dirty but don't be fooled, bubbling beneath the quick-fire, apparently uncomplicated surface are the themes of modern life in a global world: how fixed and how fluid are our identities (nationality, race, gender), how do we cope with a troublesome past that invades our present? how do we leave behind us the past without cutting ourselves loose and risk becoming rudderless? The stories rummage about in the body and graze across the skin, delving into nurture and culture, attachment and detachment, often observing the dramas of others as though the centre of gravity in life were elsewhere, or absent.
The stories are generally seen through the eyes of frisky thirty-somethings - men with women's names, women with men's - coming together and parting, forming provisional partnerships in temporary residences, dipping into and out of foreign cultures, not trapped anywhere but also not belonging, their identities up for grabs and sometimes - painfully - grabbed. They are afloat if not adrift in a sea bobbing with the flotsam and jetsam of culture. Where the culture is European, it is a sort of froth, energy without depth, sheen without ballast; where it is African it appears to be menacingly beckoning and harking back, shaping figures the people in the stories wanted to leave behind.
"All art gives a quality to silence, meaningful or empty, but it's in the silence (when the art takes its leave, and you are left alone) that it does its work." So said Karen Blixen, a Dane out of Africa, a woman who wrote with a man's name, a modernist and feminist (before these became fashionable), a forerunner, let's say, of the world of these stories. When good short stories - like McNamara's - depart, they leave behind them a silence that is a little troubled by a nagging inner noise that needs to be soothed and calmed, but - thankfully - can't be stilled without some useful pondering

Pelt and Other Stories Kindle version


  1. really looking forward to reading Cat!

    1. Really hope you enjoy, Downith. You're not anywhere near Plymouth, are you? I'm heading to the book festival there in November

  2. Wow! Some corking reviews there,Catherine! I'm sure that there will be others to make your mojo boogie on down! (Chopin-choppin' chords?).
    Give them time to bed-in...& the soil will nourish them! (Pseuds Corner, entry No.222?!) Nosh on some cherries,& turn up the purple haze!

    1. Do you believe I first had to look up the word 'corker'? I thought it was something awful. Where on earth does it come from??

  3. Corker? I heard it used first about jokes,goals at football,deliveries at cricket as in "What a corker!"...expressing exceptional quality!! Not awful at all! Aussie-lingo?...'a jaffa?'...I'm sure you Antipodeans have a vivid equivalent! I s'pose it's a reference to the cork of a champagne/wine bottle blowing-off in a spume of white froth! Trust blokes to use such an image! But I'm guessing! It's rarely,if ever,used about women(ypu'll be pleased to know!)...which is a blessing! No woman would want to be compared with something that stops-up la joie de vivre!? Cheers...but your book is a corker!

    1. I thought a 'jaffa' was something that went rolling down the cinema steps during a film. In Australia, anyway! A red-stuff coated chocolate ball. Spose you don't know either! Yes still must familiarise myself with this new 'corker' word.. It's odd!