Linda Addison, Member of the Diverse Works Inclusion Community
December is “Write a Friend” month—why not tell a friend about one or more of the following creators!
Ace Antonio-Hall recommends:
Helen Oyeyemi is a British novelist of Nigerian origin. She was born in Nigeria in 1984 and raised in London. She wrote her first novel, The Icarus Girl, while still at school studying for her A levels at Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, and is the author of five novels. Oyeyemi won the 2010 Somerset Maugham Award and was nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award in 2009 for her work of dark fantasy and Gothic horror, White is for Witching.
While studying social and political sciences at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge, two of her plays, Juniper’s Whitening and Victimese, were performed by fellow students to critical acclaim and subsequently published by Methuen.
White is for Witching Excerpt:
LUC DUFRESNE is not tall. He is pale and the sun fails on his skin. He used to write restaurant reviews, plying a thesaurus for other facets to the words “juicy” and “rich.” He met Lily at a magazine Christmas party; a room set up like a chessboard, at its centre a fir tree gravely decorated with white ribbons and jet globes. They were the only people standing by the tree with both hands in their pockets. For hours Lily addressed Luc as “Mike” to see what he had to say about it. He didn’t correct her; neither did he seem charmed, puzzled, or annoyed, reactions Lily had had before. When she finally asked him about it, he said, “I didn’t think you were doing it on purpose. But then I didn’t think you’d made a mistake. I don’t know what I thought. I suppose I thought you were calling me Mike because Mike was my name, if you see what I mean.”
He wooed his wife with peach tarts he’d learnt from his pastry-maker father. The peaches fused into the dough with their skins intact, bittered and sweetened by burnt sugar. He won his wife with modern jazz clouded with cello and xylophone notes.
His fingers are ruined by too close and careless contact with heat; the parts that touch each other when the hand is held out straight and flat, the skin there is stretched, speckled, and shiny. Lily had never seen such hands. To her, they seemed the most wonderful in all the world. Those hands on her, their strong and broken course over her, his thumbs on her hip bones.
One night she said to him, “I love you, do you love me?” She said it as lightly as such a thing can be said without it being a joke. Immediately he replied, “Yes, I love you, and you are beautiful,” pronouncing his words with a hint of impatience because they had been waiting in him a long time.
Keep up with Helen Oyeyemi’s work at http://helenoyeyemi.com/.
Janet Holden recommends:
Halli Villegas is the author of three collections of poetry, Red Promises, In the Silence Absence Makes, and The Human Cannonball, and several anthology pieces. Her poetry and prose have appeared in places such as the LRC, Exile, Kiss Machine, Pagitica, Variety Crossings, and The Windsor Review, and her book, The Hair Wreath and Other Stories, was published by ChiZine in 2010. Halli has received funding for her writing from the OAC Works in Progress in 2006, the TAC mid-level writers in 2007 and 2009, and the OAC Works in Progress in 2009.
Recommended reading: The Hair Wreath and Other Stories.
Girls and boys disappear; couples caught in the heat and suppressed rage of urban life are haunted by the ghosts of their own making; neighbourhoods drift in the murky atmosphere of buried emotions, where the echoes of distrust and dissonance prove that something just isn’t right.
These strange stories gather and weave themselves together into a wreath of memories, rife with an atmospheric and ominous creep redolent of Shirley Jackson. This eerie collection illustrates the disconnect amongst people and the places they inhabit, the gap that allows the supernatural to flourish.
Find Halli Villegas on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/halli.villegas.
Lauren Candia recommends:
Kazuki Sakuraba was born in 1971. She began publishing while still in college. Her early Gosick light novels were best-sellers and translated into English, and her adult fiction is also popular and critically acclaimed. Red Girls won the Mystery Writers of Japan Award in 2007 and was translated into English in 2015. Watashi no otoko, a suspense novel about an incestuous relationship, won the Naoki Prize for popular fiction in 2008.
Recommending: A Small Charred Face.
Even monsters need families. What are the “bamboo?” They are from China. They look just like us. They live by night. They drink human lifeblood, but otherwise keep their distance. And every century, they grow white blooming flowers. A boy name Kyo is saved from the precipice of death by Bamboo, a vampire born of the tall grasses. They start an enjoyable, yet strange shared life together, Kyo and the gentle Bamboo. But for Bamboo, communication with a human being is the greatest sin.
You can keep up with Kazuki Sakuraba through her blog: https://loribeth215.wordpress.com
Linda Addison recommends:
Christina Sng is a poet, writer, and artist. Her work in Japanese short form poetry, science fiction, and horror has received numerous accolades, most notably, Second Prize in The 2016 San
Francisco International Competition for Tanka, Third Prize in the 2016 Annual Harold G. Henderson Award for Haiku, nominations in the Dwarf Stars and Rhysling Awards as well as Honorable Mentions in the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. She is the author of several collections, including Elgin Award nominee An Assortment of Sky Things (Allegra Press), A Constellation of Songs (Origami Poems Project, Allegra Press), Catku (Allegra Press), Astropoetry (Alban Lake Publishing), and her latest, A Collection of Nightmares (Raw Dog Screaming Press).
Recommending: A Collection of Nightmares.
This collection is a magical mirror, showing us surprising, surreal images of some unique and common issues of terminal illness, etc. From “The Marvel of Flight:”
As she poises
Her cancer-stricken body
Into the air.
She is flying.
Sng creates her own brand of myth, complete with carnivorous plants and creatures created when “Sleep Takes a Vacation:”
We’ve become a city of wide-eyed
Shell-shocked zombies, wandering
Lost when night’s curtain falls.