Figurehead by Carly Holmes
Hardcover – Tartarus Press – Jul 2018 – 246 pages
In this debut collection of stories Carly Holmes peers into every corner of the strange fiction genre: from rural gothic through to traditional ghost stories, the uncanny, and folk horror. Mothers turn into trees when the sun goes down; Russian Dolls mourn their missing sisters in rotting houses; men offer sacrifices to the monsters who embody their inner wildness; and murderous demons protect young girls’ virginity.
Ranging from flash fiction to novelette, these stories are in turn chilling, playful, and melancholy. They resonate with an unsettling and unsettled anxiety about finding, and losing, one’s place in the world. The bonds of family and of community, both in their fracturing and their healing states, the uneasy relationship between living in the present and yearning for the past, are themes that thread their way through Figurehead. Every tale is rich with landscapes haunted by loss and longing.