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The Solace of Monsters

a novel

Laurie Blauner

A modern Frankenstein, young Mara sets out on a mission of self-discovery that teaches her how much “real” people struggle.

Meet the 5th Mara, a young woman stitched together from others’ body parts. Her father, “Dr. F.,” keeps her in seclusion, where she fears his loving care. She wonders about the other Maras; were they her? Or is she someone new? Her curiosity launches her on a quest for self-understanding when she escapes, only to encounter “real” people whose lives are as morally uncertain as her own. This is a story about memory, dreams, obsession, the limitations of the body, and what constitutes solace for different people. 

Mara's dogged curiosity and integrity give the novel an appealing energy. She's an engaging heroine. . . . Blauner often reaches for a quirky expression of detail that sometimes creates a charming image . . . and sometimes verges on silly … but when her writing is at its clearest and simplest, Mara's wonder at her journey and the people she meets springs off the page and welcomes the reader into her world.
Kirkus

“Blauner never shies away from the grotesque, or the beautiful. . . . Courageous and innovative and mesmerizing, Frankenstein for a new age.”
—Helen Phillips, author of
The Beautiful Bureaucrat

“One could not anticipate where Blauner’s vision and her adroitness with metaphor would take her. But with The Solace of Monsters she has provided a statement about the nature of evil and its inevitability, perhaps even its necessity, that reveals the tragic essence of her vision. In the end, The Solace of Monsters may be taken as a warning to us to proceed with caution in our creations, and, at least as important, to question ourselves as to our motives.
—Jerome Gold, author of In the Spider’s Web and The Moral Life of Soldiers

“If The Solace of Monsters was like its protagonist—built from others' body parts—it might draw some of its limbs and organs from Kazuo Ighiguro's Never Let Me Go, Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and, naturally, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. (And at least a little part of it—the redness of its cheeks, perhaps—might even come from Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo.) But in the end, Monsters is its own weird and wonderful creation, the story of the fifth version of a daughter who, despite being haunted by lives she never led and the vision of a perfectionist father, simply wants to be herself.”
—Mark Brazaitis, author of The Incurables

“The Solace of Monsters stands on the other side of the question of euthanasia, raised in the author’s novel, Infinite Kindness, contrasting the creation of life with the ending of it. The characters are under your skin before you realize how complex and implicit the questions they have brought with them really are.”
—Rich Ives, author of Sharpen and Tunneling to the Moon

About the Author

Laurie Blauner is the author of three previous novels, Inf inite Kindness, Somebody, and The Bohemians, all from Black Heron Press, as well as seven books of poetry. A novella called Instructions for Living was published in 2011 from Main Street Rag. Her most recent book of poetry, It Looks Worse than I Am, was published in 2014 as the first Open Reading Period selection from What Books Press. A poetry chapbook was published in 2013 from dancing girl press. She has received a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship as well as Seattle Arts Commission, King County Arts Commission, 4Culture, and Artist Trust grants and awards. She was a resident at Centrum in Washington state and was in the Jack Straw Writers Program in 2007. Her work has appeared in The New Republic, The Nation, The Georgia Review, American Poetry Review, Mississippi Review, Field, Caketrain, Denver Quarterly, The Colorado Review, The Collagist, and many other magazines. She lives in Seattle, Washington. Her web site is www.laurieblauner.com.

The Solace of Monsters • Laurie Blauner

188 pages • ISBN 978-1-935248-88-0 • Trade paperback, $14.95 • e-Book available • Fall 2016

Published by Leapfrog Press LLC • www.leapfrogpress.com

Distributed to the trade by Consortium Book Sales & Distribution • www.cbsd.com

The Solace of Monsters

 

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