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Sunday, January 9, 2011
The New Uncanny
This anthology seems to have slipped quietly onto the shelves of Waterstone’s: The New Uncanny: Tales of Unease edited by Sarah Eyre and Ra Page was published by Comma Press (£7.95) in 2008 – see what I mean. I suppose a clue lies in the support the book was given by the Arts Council and Literature Northwest. It’s a shame that they didn’t make a bigger splash at the time -- that’s assuming I didn’t sleep through the launch and promotional tour, etc. But since the book did win the Shirley Jackson Award, it is likely that I was going through a somnambulist phase. Anyway, I saw it and bought a copy last month...
This book contains stories by ‘genre’ favourites Ramsey Campbell, Nicholas Royle and Christopher Priest. Other contributors include Matthew Holness, Sara Maitland, AS Byatt, and Hanif Kureishi -- 14 stories in all.
In the introduction, Ra Page explains the rationale behind this anthology. Sigmund Freud published an essay that listed eight irrational causes of fear, including being blinded and being buried alive. These stories are an attempt to explore these fears for the new century.