Sunday, November 24, 2013

Quasimodo by Mia Gallagher

Curled up in front of the fire this evening I set about catching up on my reading material, delighted to be one of 100 lucky folks who acquired a copy of Quasimodo by Mia Gallagher, a limited edition chapbook from Spolia, with full color illustrations by Kirsetn Stolle

“Quasimodo” begins with two sisters doing something they've done a hundred times before: entering their parents’ house. But something is different. The lighting is wrong. The normally soft hues and gentle lamp-lit shadows have been washed out by hard fluorescent overhead bulbs. Carpet stains– once hidden– are exposed and the wallpaper is peeling. It isn’t pretty but it’s the truth. What is light after all, if not revealing? Their father has been left in charge after their mother’s stroke. He does not share her knack for ambiance.
Ann, one of the daughters, knows about strokes. Her husband suffered three of them. The story takes its title from the way they left his face partially paralyzed, half-melted like that of Notre Dame’s famous hunchback. It’s a bitter association that Ann keeps to herself. And yet, the phrasequasi modo means ‘almost the standard measure,’ which connotes the skewed shape of relationships in crisis. Everything is almost how it’s supposed to be. The pieces are there but nothing looks quite the way you need it to.
The light in Ann’s parents’ house is without magic, like when the auditorium lights pop on after a play. The story itself points a flashlight into the mouth of a cave and asks how deep people will go for the sake of their loved ones. When is it selfish to distance yourself from a situation? When is it foolish to keep getting closer? “Quasimodo” offers no certain answer to those questions, except to say there is a time and place for everything.
To get your hands on a copy, you can order HERE
This book is an absolute delight, limited to 100 copies, is a treasure to have.

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