Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Elegantly Naked In My Sexy Mental Illness

Heather Fowler’s fourth collection of fiction speaks the language of need. Desperate, obsessive, even demented need—both emotional and erotic—is voiced by characters ill or ill-advised. From cyber to stalker, illicit, explicit, tender and tedious, the relationships in Elegantly Naked In My Sexy Mental Illness translate love and lust into disorder. How we hear our own need and the way it sounds to others proves in these enthralling stories an imperfect but utterly captivating conversation, a destructive yet dynamic discourse between well-being and disease, images and words.



(Trailer created by Queen’s Ferry Press)

PRAISE for Elegantly Naked In My Sexy Mental Illness :

“The stories in Heather Fowler’s Elegantly Naked In My Sexy Mental Illness span time and space, sanity and insanity, our dreams and our nightmares. From Renaissance Italy to the French Revolution to the modern dangers of Facebook stalkers, Fowler’s characters explore all of the pleasures and pains of love, that “monster…forged from both hope and desire.” Fowler takes risks; each story is a spellbinding journey. I can’t think of a short story collection I’m more excited to recommend this year.”
—Shaindel Beers, author of A Brief History of Time and The Children’s War and Other Poems

“Heather Fowler writes stories that need to be written. Unabashedly ripping open the emotional turmoil that continues to plague the lives of men and women, Fowler crafts fantastical tales that reveal the underbelly of our pains and desperation. She’s the heir of Angela Carter, caressing words like lovers, making the unreal real.”
—Paula Bomer, author of Nine Months

“The characters in Heather Fowler’s fiction are strange and magnificent, sad and strong, trapped and independent, adjusted and not. In other words, they are real. The sheer variety of stories in Elegantly Naked In My Sexy Mental Illness is striking and the pure athletic grace with which each is told is testament to Fowler’s willingness to stretch and experiment. This is an author with a voluminous bag of tools. She is daring and audacious in all the right ways. There is a delight to her surprises, her wonderments. Savor her titles, which, emblematic of her range, are pithy, mordant, cerebral, playful and ingenious: ‘Giant Balloon Animal Tragedies,’ ‘Good Country. People’ (with its conscious echoes of Flannery O’Connor, an author to whom Fowler can be favorably compared), ‘Speak to Me with Tenderness, Howard Sun.’ Heather Fowler is adept at decoding the human predicament. One yarn begins, ‘Listen, I am telling you a story.’ So you lean closer and, when you do, you can feel the author’s warm breath on your cheek.”
—Corey Mesler, author of Diddy-Wah-Diddy: A Beale Street Suite


In Elegantly Naked In My Sexy Mental Illness, Heather Fowler draws us into characters buzzing with internal lives that feel eerily familiar, as though she is showing us a piece of ourselves. What is chilling—and addictive—about her writing is how often those internal lives are ones of disorder. Her renderings remind us of the sanity within insanity, and they do indeed reveal the elegance—and sexiness—of the seamy underbelly of what it means to be human, of the most private parts of our bodies and brains.”

—Ming Holden, author of The Survival Girls

“The characters in Heather Fowler’s Elegantly Naked In My Sexy Mental Illness are so vulnerable and full of yearning that I read the collection with my heart in my throat. Their lives of quiet desperation are rendered with such depth and grace that they seem to haunt the stories they inhabit even while they live and breathe inside them. Fowler is truly a master of her craft.”

—Rebecca Kanner, author of Sinners and the Sea