A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness: Four Chapbooks by Four Women is a triumph for flash fiction. This is not your typical anthology, with one story per author. While those are good too, A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness provides a richer experience. Each author–Amy Clark, Elizabeth Ellen, Kathy Fish, and Claudia Smith–explode onto the page with an entire album of flashes. And as with any album, you’ll discover a favorite “song,” you’ll learn the versatility of the artist–their range. You’ll play the album again and again and learn the order of the songs, memorize the lyrics.
Each artist in A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness has a different voice, a distinct style. The book starts out with Kathy Fish’s chapbook “Laughter, Applause, Laughter, Music, Applause.” It’s a wise choice for the lead. Kathy’s flash is concise, surprising, and she has a gift for using words that will amaze you. Amy Clark’s chapbook, “Waiting,” follows. Amy takes more time with her work–her flashes tend to be longer, the timeframe more drawn out. Speaking of time, Amy likes to play with the concept. Many of her stories switch between the past, present, and future tense, which makes for an interesting read. Next up is Elizabeth Ellen with “Sixteen Miles Outside of Phoenix.” Elizabeth’s work is intimate. She gets right in there and gives you what she’s got. Many of her stories focus on relationships and that tumultuous concept called love. Claudia Smith, the winner of Rose Metal Press’ first annual chapbook contest, anchors the team with “The Sky is a Well.” Claudia has a knack for nailing titles, and her writing is exceptionally eloquent. Like Kathy Fish, childhood is a common theme in her work, and often, her stories illustrate how the world can be a dangerous place for girls.
If you’re a fan of flash fiction, A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness is a must-have. But if you’re a fan, you already know this. You already know what it feels like to hold such a precious item in your hands. And you know that opening the cover for the first time is akin to that flutter you get during a hot kiss. If you’re new to flash, this collection is a great introduction to the form. The stories within are engaging, thought-provoking, strong. They will force you to pay attention, to look closely, and deeply, at the subtleties of life. Like music with metaphor, the stories will demand you listen.
Interested? You can order A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness here, or, you can try and win a copy by entering the “My Own Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness Contest.” Details are as follows…
WIN A COPY OF A PECULIAR FEELING OF RESTLESSNESS
In the comments section of this post, share your own “Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness.” Be creative. You can write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, lyrics, etc., and interpret the theme widely. The ONE RULE is your entry must not be longer than ONE LINE. And please don’t be clever and write three pages without any punctuation. One line, with a reasonable word count.
Deadline: Friday, July 11th
Judge: Kathy Fish
Winner Announced: Monday, July 14th