Whey! Everyone’s favourite literary lifestyle blog (citation needed) is back, baybe!
Today’s post is me checking out a hot new forthcoming book from And Other Stories. I feel incredibly privileged to have received an advance copy of this, as Ann Quin is a writer whose life and work I am incredibly interested by (see recent video).
The topics Quin’s writing touches on tick all of Old Poppa Manley Hadley’s favourite themes (i.e. sexuality, literature itself and mental illness innit). The Unmapped Country: Stories & Fragments contains 14 texts, some of which are stories published within Quin’s lifetime (1936 – 1973), others have come from various private collections. The star of the book, for me, is the eponymous piece, ‘The Unmapped Country’, which wow wow wowed me from start to end.
‘The Unmapped Country’ (as it appears here) was the draft of the in-progress novel manuscript Quin was working on before she drowned herself in Brighton on August bank holiday 1973. At 50 pages, it is by far the longest piece in the book, and in its evocation of psychocis and paranoia I found it to be so alarmingly haunting that I almost had to stop what I was doing and try and find some beta blockers from my bag, however I’ve only had like 2 hours sleep and worked 15 hours yesterday, so things are-