- Kelly Watt
Kelly's B (ook) Log!
February 25, 2022--The Paper Demon, by Rosaleen Bertolino
I just finished reading Rosaleen Bertolino’s stunning collection of short stories: The Paper Demon. Suffused with surrealist touches, magic realism and speculative fiction mixed with social realism, these stories have a luminous quality and resonance, I don’t know how to describe. They remind me of One Hundred Years of Solitude crossed with that sixties television series, My Favourite Martian. They made me laugh, made me wonder, and shake my head in the same sentence; , the metaphor is alive and kicking in Bertolino’s writing. Naturally I’m biased, because I know Rosaleen, and I read some earlier renditions of these stories, but I fell in love with them all over again. and it’s not just me. This collection won a literary prize! The characters are whimsical and out of this world: little girls who destroy doll houses with magic properties, there’s Mr. and Mrs. Alien who smell bad but are kind, and then the monster’s wife. The stories also flow from one to another seamlessly and somehow together say something larger than the individual’s stories say themselves, which is what a collection should do. They whisper about how fragile our lives are, how ephemeral love, how silly our obsessions, how vain our self-righteousness. And how mystifying and uncertain our reality. It has the collectability of a work of poetry. I couldn’t put it down. https://www.amazon.com/Paper-Demon-Other-Stories/dp/0898234085