From the Chapters pre-order page! Motion Sickness is a flash novel consisting of 55 chapters of exactly 500 words each and accompanied by a wood-cut like, scratchboard illustration. The illustrations are dark and somewhat whimsical as is the text. Penelope, the twenty-year old narrator is a guitarist who writes some lyrics, has a good colour sense and a social conscience. She has kicked a drug habit and is now mainly drinking and sometimes jamming in after-hours clubs as well as writing letters of protest. She finds herself alone when her roommate goes to Calgary to be with her mother who has breast cancer. At the same time she is increasingly attracted to Theo, a slightly older bass player who turns out to be married and who shares a similarly poetic take on the world, but who, unlike her, sticks with people and jobs. He finds her employment with him silk screening T-shirts where they develop a more intimate but non- sexual relationship. In between birth control methods she finds herself pregnant after a drugged threesome which involved the very sexy but potentially violent Stan. She has an abortion. Stan becomes a frightening stalker. Theo remains a stable anchor and it becomes increasingly clear to both of them as well as to Theo's wife that their intimacy is not to be ignored. This is a smart, engaging, well-written novel that should appeal particularly, but by no means exclusively, to young women dealing with the responsibility of reproductive control, finding their way in the world of creative work and the social life of a young single person. ...more
There have been some nice reviews including Sue Dyment at The Peterborough Examiner and Katelynn Schoop at the now sadly defunct Danforth Review.
"PfluThere have been some nice reviews including Sue Dyment at The Peterborough Examiner and Katelynn Schoop at the now sadly defunct Danforth Review.
"Pflug’s impressive control of language creates a manageable framework for the imaginative content of her stories in which reality is shifted slightly, turned on its axis. Characters confront the impossibility of true communication with another person as their various relationships are mediated or perhaps enabled by letter-writing, drugs, and parallel worlds. The highly visual and often abstract prose makes for an uneasy reading experience in which the narrative begins to interrogate the reader’s perception of reality. This is the kind of reading that requires a little, god forbid, work – it forces thought and reconsideration and discomfort in a great way. It’s often the case that writing that seems difficult or challenging on a formal level manages to best articulate the complexities of human life, and Pflug’s collection is no exception."
-Katelynn Schoop, The Danforth Review
"While the world Pflug creates is tensioned with useful allusions to oppression as well as cauchemar horror, the counter-placement of people next to unexpected objects and within strange settings is beautiful, bizarre and bleeding in a bright red way more dignified than a lie... We know these characters, they are quizzical, human, endearing. They write letters on air-sickness bags, Saran Wrap, pages torn from magazines. They are our punk roommates, they discuss arrangements, want to bring one more friend to sleep over on the hideabed couch."
To which I usually answer, "Actually, I'm most like Stiv."
Also, while I love the cover, what I'd really like to see is "Woman with Sea Turtles," a photograph by Arthur Tress, in which "A woman sits on the edge of a bed, one hand tugging at a strand of her hair as she looks at large turtles crowded on the bed, all staring at her."
There are actually two different photographs, both equally amazing, replete with signature Tress surreal melancholia. ...more