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May 02, 2007



Oh, and Kellie Wells, of course! She's such a friend that I just skipped over her, somehow. But several of the stories in Compression Scars and her novel, Skin, are some of the best examples I know in this vein.


Human Oddities by Noria Jablonski

The stories all feel real in the beginning, but then they have this tendency to blister out into something more surreal and fun. It's one of my favorite collections in years.

Dan Wickett

Both Compression Scars and Human Oddities came to mind for me - both fine, fine books.


How about Paul LaFarge's novels and Karen Joy Fowler's short story collection Black Glass.


I found some great fiction book reviews. You can also see those reviews in Fiction book reviews

Kelly Link

I've just gotten a copy of The Cottagers in the mail from Women and Children First, and very much looking forward to reading it.

A couple of recommendations, which are perhaps more interstitial in combination with themselves than taken one by one: Shelley Jackson's novel Half Life; M. T. Anderson's Feed (Octavian Nothing is also wonderful); Lynda Barry's Cruddy (I'm guessing there's a good chance that you've already read this, though!); Hope Mirlees's fairy tale Lud-in-the-Mist; Patricia Anthony's wonderful, out-of-print WWI epistolary novel Flanders; Margo Lanagan's collection Black Juice; and one other y.a. novel in two parts -- Elizabeth Knox's Dreamhunter sequence (I also love Black Oxen.)

Dan Wickett

Very cool to see you ordering books from a store like Women and Children First, Kelly - one that has been struggling and can use the business.


"The Secrets of Jin Shei" by Alma Alexander was written as historical fantasy and marketed largely as mainstream - that's as interstitial as it gets. It was a finalist for the Washington State Book Awards (mainstream) and the Endeavour Award (speculative fiction) in 2005. You can get hold of its follow-up, too ("Embers of Heaven") which is currently available via


Hey all: Thanks for these--great stuff. Except for Paul LeFarge, they're all books and authors I haven't read yet, so my summer list is feeling nicely fattened. And I don't mean to cut off the suggestions with this note either, by the way. Kelly: hope you and Gavin had a nice train trip home. I can't tell you how much we all enjoyed your visit to Wash U.

Garth Hallberg

Heard cultural critic and Tolstoy descendant Tatyana Tolstaya read from her Russian speculative novel "The Slynx" at the PEN conference last week, and was completely hooked. Check it out at New York Review Books.

Terri Windling

Alan de Niro's work is definitely interstitial. I recommend his on-line story
"Meet the Elms" in the Autumn '06 issue of The Journal of Mythic Arts. There's also a good Karen Joy Fowler story in the same issue:

And if you like de Niro, also try stories by Chris Barzak:

Kate Bernheimer:

For conventionally published "interstitial" stories and novels, in addition to novels and story collection by the authors above I highly recommend Kevin Brockmeier's books, if you haven't read him already -- particularly his short story collection Strange Things from the Sky. Here's a link to an article on the Interstitial Arts site about Brockmeier and Kelly Link:

I also recommend the gorgeous novel "Memories of My Ghost Brother" by Heinz Insu Fenkl, who is one of the contributors to the Interfictions anthology. Liuke Angela Carter, he weaves the real, the surreal, and the folkloristic in wonderful ways.

Other good interstitial, genre-busting writers off the top of my head: Emma Donoghue, Lydia Millet, Elizabeth Knox, Tom La Farge, Luis Alberto Urrea, Katherine Vaz, Geoff Ryman. And Kathryn Davis for sure -- but you've mentioned her already.

Terri Windling

Post script:

...Also, a large percentage of the books published by Small Beer Press could be described as interstitial, and all of them are terrific.


I found some great fiction book reviews. You can also see those reviews in Historical fiction

Kelly Link

Hi again, Marshall,

Gavin and I had such a good time in St. Louis, and we were so impressed by the writing program at Washington University -- both the instructors and the students. In the next few days I'll try to put a box of Small Beer books in the mail for you and Kellie Wells.

Nin Harris

I would agree with Haruki Murakami and Angela Carter. I would also add Michael Ende (particularly Momo). Also, I found offerings in the recent anthology "Salon Fantastique" to be interstitial - by my own apprehending of the term.

Nin Harris

I'm going to add Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce because it's so many things rolled into one and it attempts to do something brave in my opinion - bridge the gap between fiction on the page and the subconscious mechanisms of the mind. Anyone who has read-without-reading this text by reading it out loud and absorbing the patterns of sounds will probably get the gist of what I mean. And of course, there's Ulysses. Yep, definitely interstitial in my books.


Good site! I'll stay reading! Keep improving!

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