by Morgan on April 6, 2012
Amelia Gray is the business. Do you know this? Her new novel, THREATS, is picking up good reviews all over the place, but you don’t need to read the reviews. Just read the novel. It’s fucking fantastic. Gray’s sensibility scares me in the way that I like; if you like being scared in a way that you like, you’ll like being scared by Amelia Gray.
THREATS is Gray’s first novel, preceded by two collections of shorts, both of which are also perversely good. To prove my point, I shall transcribe, in its entirety, a piece from AM/PM.
The truck, advertising FISH and MEAT and GOURMET BRANDS, got stuck on the hump between the parking lot and the road in front of the deli next door to our apartment. We went outside because we wanted to count the wheels still touching the ground but the driver waved us away. So we went back inside, where we could only see the back of the truck from the window, and just barely the cars in the street, swerving to avoid it. Somebody said, What would happen if the back end disconnected from the front end and rolled in through the window and into our home? Killing us all? And causing thousands of dollars of structural damage for our landlord? And somebody else said, I think you have sufficiently answered your own question.
There are about one million reasons why Amelia Gray is the business. Here are a few, in no particular order:
- she is insanely prolific, and consistently good
- she writes stories like this one - basically the story I would write if I were my own fantasy version of myself (if I were, then, Amelia Gray) – that contain sentences like this one: “Here, the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom, and that road is paved with handjobs.”
- she is a BOMBASS reader
- she manages to rise to the surface of other writers of her generation and milieu, who often make “careers” for themselves by writing suffocatingly self-indulgent and needlessly diffuse “stories” that are cute and funny on the internet for about five seconds, and then die. Gray’s prose may be short (even in the novel, she writes in gasps) but it sticks. It has weight and depth and resonance; it consists of much more than a chronic, ephemeral navel-gazing. She has STORIES to tell. I think that’s the difference between her, and, say, ______ _________ (insert whoever you want here, but it shouldn’t be hard to think of someone).
- incidentally, she’s also letting me live in her living room.
Go buy THREATS from your local bookseller, and if you happen to live in any of these cities, go out and see her read. It’s quite the show.