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Disturbed by Her Song

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Disturbed By Her Song collects the work of Esther Garber and her half-brother Judas Garbah, the mysterious family of writers that Tanith Lee has been channeling for the past few years. Possibly autobiographical, frequently erotic and darkly surreal, their fiction takes place in a variety of eras and places, from Egypt in the 1940s, to England in the grip of the Pre-Raphael ...more
Paperback, 204 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Lethe Press
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Community Reviews

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I was given Disturbed by Her Song as a review copy from Lethe Press, and I've got to say, this was one of the most unusual things I've read in a while. It's a collection of short stories written by Tanith Lee, but under the conceit that two of her characters are actually writing the stories. "Esther Garber" and "Judas Garbah" are half-siblings, and each of them is gay. The stories Lee writes for them explore same-sex relationships, and she does a very impressive job giving each of the siblings a ...more
Althea Ann
Black Eyed Susan
A hotel chambermaid develops an obsession with the possibly-ghostly figure of a lovely woman, seen wandering the halls. In the face of her fascination, her ambiguous and exploitative relationships with her coworkers and employers fade into unimportance.

The Kiss
A brief piece about a woman who tells a sentimental lie to avoid a gay-bashing. Old-fashioned, but unfortunately the issues it brings up poignantly are all-too-current.

Ne Que V'on Desir
A man has a brief affair on a train,
Jean Roberta
Tanith Lee is a legend among fantasy writers and the author of over ninety novels. Her work has been attracting a cult following since the 1970s, when she sold her first book to DAW Press. Her tales are elaborate, and her words are as carefully chosen as precious jewels. Her eccentricities can be forgiven.

As an example of her quirks, she claims that this collection of stories was co-written by two other people. In “Meeting the Garbers,” Tanith Lee claims:

“I first met the Garbers in the 1990s; th
Alexis Hall
Tanith Lee is a writer who has always inspired strong reactions in me. When she hits, she hits it out of the park. And when she misses she bangs you in the face heavily with a bat. There appears to be no middle ground. I’m not sure how best to characterise Disturbed by her Song, as it seems to defy any particular genre classification - some of the stories involve the supernatural, either explicitly or implicitly, and some of them don’t, thought they all have an elusive, tantalising, other-worldl ...more
A series of interconnected surreal short stories told by two queer narrators about love, time, prejudice and spirituality. Like other stuff by Tanith Lee, the writing style is lyrical, highly personal and slightly eccentric, & the characters are complex and interesting.

p.s. Tanith Lee seems to be out of fashion these days, but imho despite her occasional flaws she is a much more original fantasist than the likes of Neil Gaiman.
"The Crow," "The Kiss" and "Ne Que V'on Desir" are among the finest texts Ms. Lee has written--magical, dark and erotic. "Black Eyed Susan" and "Death and the Maiden" are a kind of lesbian gothic fiction, while the title story will bring a tear to the reader's eyes.
I read this short story collection because I was intrigued by the fact that the stories are written by one writter (Lee) as if they had been written by two different writers (Judas and Esther) who sometimes also appear as characters. I have to say that this effect was well a ccomplished as I enjoyed Judas stories (in particular the descriptions and mood setting)but found Esther's stories really grated on my nerves (I must add here that for other reviewers the effect was opposite).
Nevertheless I
Cathy Bryant
Tanith Lee is at the very top of her game in this glorious trip into the adventures and loves of the Garber/Garbah family. Whether she really is channeling them or they are an awakened part of her psyche doesn't matter - her deft storytelling, original take on everything and sensual imagery are all present in bucketloads.
You get an introduction too - she offers us just a fragment of her un-fictionalised self, and oh how I wish she'd write an autobiography!
I'm biased. I love everything she does.
Lee usually writes high fantasy with cranky heroines (in my experience so far). This small press offering of short stories finds her channeling two characters who write queer erotica with a touch of magical realism. The stories are emotionally intense. Esther writes a great love story while Judas tends to write memoir-like shorter pieces. They are both a little cranky too.

Lee usually writes high fantasy with cranky heroines (in my experience so far). This small press offering of short stories finds her channeling two characters who write queer erotica with a touch of magical realism. The stories are emotionally intense. Esther writes a great love story while Judas tends to write memoir-like shorter pieces. They are both a little cranky too.

Another book from Tanith I'll definitely re-read. BUT - how the hell has she so many wonderful ideas? The moment I think she's done everything already, she comes up with something deliciously twisted.
A great collection of stories held together by the three authors- Tanith Lee and the characters she channels, Esther Garber and Judas Garbah. The story I liked best was the longest one, Death and the Maiden, but they were all really high quality and thought-provoking. I will definitely be reading again soon.
i've heard a lot of good stuff about this book, and it all turned out to be completely true. all the stories in the book are great, especially the title story. pleasure to read. i might even reread it sometime soon.
Jay Z
Hmmmm. Interesting. Very weird and well-written. But a little more than vaguely Orientalist - Tanith Lee, who knew?
Reminded me of Angela Carter's fairytales. I'm interested in reading more by Tanith Lee.
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Tanith Lee is a British writer of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. She is the author of 77 novels, 14 collections, and almost 300 short stories. She has also written four radio plays broadcast by the BBC and two scripts for the UK, science fiction, cult television series "Blake's 7."
Before becoming a full time writer, Lee worked as a file clerk, an assistant librarian, a shop assistant, and a
More about Tanith Lee...
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