Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Sister Morphine

I'm reading this book at the moment, by Catherine Eisner, published by Salt. If anyone else has read it, please can you explain why Salt call it a "novel" rather than a collection of short stories? I don't see how it can be a novel, as it consists of individual 'case studies' of women with mental health issues. I have read about a third of the way through so far, and there is no connecting thread between the individual accounts, or none that I can see. I know there is sometimes a stigma associated with selling short story collections (and this is a debut collection), but since Salt is a great champion of the short story, I can't think they would fall into the trap of believing readers would be put off by the tag 'short stories'.

Please don't misunderstand - I'm enjoying what I've read so far (although I do feel some of the stories are over-written and the individual voices don't always shine through). I just don't see it is as a novel, and wonder why Salt do.



I started to read it and thought the exact same. I abandoned it but intend to go back!

Sarah Hilary said...

Hi, WRW, glad I'm not alone. Someone pointed me to a blog where Eisner explains her reasoning but I'm still baffled. Something to do with it resembling a symphony. I'm afraid I just thought - a symphony's not a novel! I guess I'm missing the point.