October 4th, 2007

  • pgdf

Sixties Novels, Part 39

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MOTHER IS A COUNTRY, Kathrin Perutz, Harcourt, Brace & World, 1968.

Here's another entry in what the critic James Wood recently called the genre of "hysterical realism." Woods coined the term to refer to contemporary postmodern maximalists like Pynchon, but the roots of such absurdist satires go way back to the Sixties--Pynchon's native era as well.

Here's the dustjacket copy of this novel if you want the details. You'll have to magnify it twice for readability. The plot and characters are much of a muchness with other such comedic farces we've seen in our examination of Sixties novels.

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But perhaps some uniqueness accrues to the author being a woman, for this loud, gonzo genre seems mostly a male preserve. And what a cheerful, zaftig gal. Here's KP's photo from the back cover of MOTHER.

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There have been lots of great author photos on these books, and I have perhaps been remiss in not including more of them.

KP had a fairly substantial career, as outlined here:


In 2005, we find her composing a memoir, excerpted here:


She's only 68 years old, so perhaps we'll see more work from her soon.

Posted by Paul DiFi.

Duan Surk

Duan what?

Duan Surk is a series of Japanese mangas illustrated novels by Mishio Fukazawa. English versions are coming out in this country from TokyoPop, and I have the pleasure of adapting them, which does not involve "putting it onto a piece of wood and banging a few nails through it," the Gumby method of literary adaptation, but rather working from achingly literal translations that are at times almost like a foreign language themselves. The third novel in the series, Black Knights of the Silver-Gray Castle, has just come out. It's available at amazon, along with the previous two volumes, Witches' Forest and The Two-Headed Wizard. They are light-hearted fantasies suitable for readers from nine or ten upward into the teens, and they were a lot of fun to adapt, even if I didn't get to use a hammer! On volumes one and two, I worked with the multi-talented Janet Harvey.

"A great fantasy adventure that is fun, exciting, and laugh-out-loud funny."--TeensReadToo.com

posted by paulw