Knots

Paperback | $9
5 x 8 ¼ inches | 124 pp
ISBN: 978-1-933500-08-9
ISBN: 1-933500-08-5

Cover image (knot) by Florence Neal

 

Knots

In 2005 Timmi Duchamp wrote to me suggesting that Aqueduct Press publish a selection of my tales in its Conversation Series.  Knots was the result. The tales come from my two short fiction collections  The Sea-Rabbit, or, The Artist of Life (1988) and Stories Out of Omarie (1995), ones that focus on the complex and beautiful intertanglements of art, memory, and tragic love in pre-modern Europe and North Africa. In “The Twin Knots” my goal was to present  the Goddess of Love’s take on an affair between a knight and an unhappy queen. In “Story Out of Omarie” a count punishes his daughter for the attempted murder of her husband by placing her in a barrel and sending her out to sea, where adventures with pirates and a powerful sultan ensue. “Ashiepattle” is a version of the Cinderella myth. I wrote “The Cathedral” in 1974, one of my earliest tales, in response to an intense experience of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Publishers Weekly writes about Knots: “Walker’s sentences grow and ramify as luxuriantly as vines in an enchanted wood.”

This quotation and comment are printed on the back cover of the book:

“And as she moved, he saw that the shape of her wolverine cape described the very quadrilateral of the field, belonging to his father’s renegade vassal across the mountain, which he so long and so ineffectually had yearned to possess; and the pure launch of her skirt mimicked the very contour of the fertile hillside claimed by the Bishop of Tours, which he had not briefly, nor successfully, disputed in the ecclesiastical and secular courts, and yet could not yield his claim. He had stridden after her then, and gained upon her figure slowly, intent on capturing her for one sole galliard at least…” —from “Ashiepattle”

Four spellbinding tales, selected from Wendy Walker’s critically acclaimed short fiction collections The Sea-Rabbit, Or, The Artist of Life (1988) and Stories Out of Omarie (1995), showcase some of her finest work as she takes on the themes of art, memory, and tragic love in pre-modern Europe and North Africa. “The Twin Knots” presents the Goddess of Love’s take on an affair between a knight and an unhappy queen. In another tale, a count punishes his daughter for the attempted murder of her husband by placing her in a barrel and sending her out to sea, where adventures with pirates and a powerful sultan ensue. Publishers Weekly writes, “Walker’s sentences grow and ramify as luxuriantly as vines in an enchanted wood.”

. . . . . . . . . .

Walker uses European poems and fairy tales as her inspiration and source material, merging rich language and modern ideas with classic plot lines to craft complex adult fare…Read her work for the history, the complex tales, and the vivid language offered—where the true beauty of Walker’s work lies.

—Nicole McClain, Tangent Online

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“It’s [Walker’s] eccentric mingling of ideas and imagery, sensory impressions of a world almost disturbingly alive, that distinguish her work from anyone else’s.”

—Faren Miller, Locus

Knot