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.

Kristin Fouquet, author of ‘Twenty Stories’, paperback, published by Rank Stranger Press, August 10, 2009. Available through Kristin’s website, through  in paperback and Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and more. Go to goodreads and mouse over “buy a copy” for a complete list of vendors.

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