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The Doll's Alphabet
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Discussion > Buddy Read for October: The Doll's Alphabet by Camilla Grudova

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Marie-Therese (mariethrse) | 550 comments Please join this month's "buddy read" as Bill and I continue our exploration of literary horror outside the mainstream while reading The Doll's Alphabet by Camilla Grudova.

This collection of short stories has been compared to Margaret Atwood, Angela Carter, and even David Lynch.

The Guardian writes: “Weird”, though, isn’t the half of it. The first story, “Unstitching”, begins like this: “One afternoon, after finishing a cup of coffee in her living room, Greta discovered how to unstitch herself. Her clothes, skin and hair fell from her like the peeled rind of a fruit, and her true body stepped out.”

The Edinburgh Book Review feels similarly There are writers who have an unrelenting and at times elemental relationship to storytelling; writers whose entire worlds are contained within a single sentence. Camilla Grudova’s debut collection of stories, The Doll’s Alphabet, captures this definitive way of storytelling in conjuring up an immediate, uncanny world. One that is gothic, strange, experimental – and totally realised.

This book is published by Fitzcarraldo Editions in the UK and Coffee House Press in the US and is available in a variety of formats.

Hope you'll join in on what looks to be a very intriguing read!


Marie-Therese (mariethrse) | 550 comments That's great, Randolph. Thank you so much! It's a pleasure to be in a group with a moderator who is so supportive of member participation.


Bill Hsu (billhsu) | 1375 comments I'm about 50 pages in. There's no shortage of great ideas. I find the writing in the longer pieces a little stiff though. The shorter, more concentrated pieces are very enjoyable.


Marie-Therese (mariethrse) | 550 comments I've read the first two stories (which are both quite brief) and am about halfway through "Waxy", the third. Enjoying these quite a bit.

The two I finished reminded me greatly of Leonora Carrington. I read The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington a couple of months ago and I see some of the same whimsy (not to mention identification with animals, particularly canines) here.

I plan to dive deeper into this collection tomorrow. Looking forward to it!


Bill Hsu (billhsu) | 1375 comments "Agata's Machine" is my favorite by far, really the only one of the longer stories that I'm mostly happy with. The few after that just don't come together for me, for various reasons.


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