REVIEW: Kristin Fouquet’s ‘Twenty Stories’

320What immediately struck me as soon as I started reading these excellent stories, is that Kristin Fouquet inhabits the European tradition of literature.

She uses detailed and concise description which she has mastered to an unusual degree to conjure characters quickly from the page and render a narrative with immediate impact.
There is heartache here and humour, there is tragedy and insight.

From the brilliant opening story ‘The Dead Redhead’, which has the courage to remain equivocal, through the excellent ‘The Kitchen’, the reader gets an immediate sense of the author’s playful eroticism and control of words.

The descriptions are vivid, there is not a touch of self-indulgence throughout and Kristin Fouquet manages to explore the human condition in a seres of short stories that weave together seamlessly in an artistry of despair and hope.

This is a rare gift.

She is also a great photographer and brings her visual talents into her writing with descriptions of New Orleans and its denizens, as in the wonderful and unforgettable ‘Dames Of Dumaine’:
‘Miss Aimee Mercier, a pale woman in her fifties, snuck outside of her half shotgun double in her worn red kimono, off-white hair bandeau, and dark sunglasses.’

Kristin Fouquet sketches her characters into a story with ease, it is the ease of the great painter who conjures with a few brush strokes men and women we know exist.

To do this takes a lot of talent.

She is a subtle author.

I was reminded at times of Maupassant at others of Flaubert.

There is romance here and a sense of the menace that New Orleans holds in its soul.

These stories are warm and vibrant.

They are alive and resonant.

The wonderful story ‘The Moon Is New, But Love Is Old’ begins with the lines:
‘Aaron Dobias was in love before he even saw her.

Strolling down Frenchman Street, he heard the loveliest sound.’

The story is one of the best in the volume which is so readable you will not want to put it down.

And when you do you will want to pick it up again.
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Kristin Fouquet, author of ‘Twenty Stories’, paperback, published by Rank Stranger Press, August 10, 2009. Available through Kristin’s website, through Amazon.com  in paperback and Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and more. Go to goodreads and mouse over “buy a copy” for a complete list of vendors.

12 Responses to REVIEW: Kristin Fouquet’s ‘Twenty Stories’

  1. AJ Hayes says:

    I’ve only read a couple of Kristin’s stories. Twenty Stories is at the top on my list now. The ones I read reflect her photographs. They are shot in black and white and, as B&W photographs do, tell much greater stories that the images presented literally on the paper. I learned how much I did not know about photography from an old Marine combat photographer. The motto he drilled into me back then was: “Color shoots itself, any ape can do it. Black and white demands the truth and the story behind that truth.” He was right. Kristin writes like that. The stories create colorful, vivid portraits that delight you, then the black and white story hiding behind the color story sneaks into your head and doesn’t leave for a long while. Cool

    • AJ, I love the distinction you make from the color to b&w. Thank you for noticing the depth– far easier to do in photography than in writing– I appreciate your acute eye. Thanks for sharing the Marine photographer’s motto. It all means a lot to me. Sincerest thanks.

  2. Jason Michel says:

    Kristin’s writing enchants the reader.
    Beautifully diverse pieces of writing that scar the soul with longing.
    Bravo K!

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with your review of Kristin Fouquet’s work, and I very much enjoyed her “Twenty Stories”.

  4. Lynn, I do believe you are the sweetheart of the small press and I hope that isn’t perceived as a sweet-tart retort, but I seem to see a trail of hearts wherever you go. I hope you know how loved and appreciated you are by all. Thanks for sharing your love and support!

    • Kristin you deserve everything we say, and so much more.

      I think that love is something we share in our community, not only for the work but for one another- respect and admiration and the desire to see each other do well. I think support is so important, so vital.

      You brought your city to life for me before I had ever seen it, in your stories and photographs. There are things that you capture that are released into our inner worlds- you are a woman of another era, I think.

  5. Kristin, I am going to your book at Amazon.com and do the following:

    1. “like” it by clicking on “like” to the right of your book cover

    2. “tag” your book by clicking on the tag boxes you find when you scroll down on that page.

    3. “tag” your Kindle edition as well.

    Will you do the same for me? My book is called FLASHING MY SHORTS and it’s at Amazon.com http://tinyurl.com/2bkms9w

    Salvatore Buttaci

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