This book is the fifth original fiction collection from one of the true eccentrics of modern British writing – stories that blend erudite skill and a startling emotional intensity, classical elegance and unexpected experimentation, sophisticated miserablism and innocent beauty. A fairy tale as dark as they come amid a shattering clash of two opposing and poisoned personalities. A Meyrink-tinged dream of atavism and Italy that awakens the dreamer to philosophy and fate. A quiet and perfectly observed journey through the far reaches of Japan. Myth-working fantasy haunted by the motley ghosts of Lord Dunsany and Matsuo Bashô, and by the imps of postmodernism. A vision of the afterlife where heaven and hell are entwined in torturous symbiosis. The sinister Black Dog folklore re-imagined as a cosmology of thanatophobia.
For all the diversity of styles in evidence, they are united by the author’s distinctive voice – a window into a crepuscular human world torn between magic and reality, earth and infinity.
“To call Crisp’s stories simple would be to malign them; to say that they are complex would be to slander, for the highest art is that which, in its directness, its naturalness, says what it has to say without pretence.”
- Brendan Connell – from the Introduction
Quentin S. Crisp (born 1972) is a British writer and publisher of supernatural fiction. Unlike the better-known personality of the same name, this Quentin Crisp was given the name at birth but, being younger, must use his middle initial to disambiguate. Originally from North Devon, Crisp now lives in London. He has a bachelor's degree in Japanese from the University of Durham, has spent two periods living in Japan and Japanese literature is a significant influence in his work.
Crisp is responsible for the Chomu Press, publishing fiction by contemporary authors.
Crisp also writes lyrics, which have been recorded by Kodagain.
His novella Shrike was a 2009 Shirley Jackson Award finalist.