Kirkus Reviews praises Diane Schoemperlen's By the Book
Though I would have thought this book almost impossible to review without having the final version in hand, Kirkus Reviews has nevertheless given two thumbs up to Diane Schoemperlen's latest collection of collage fictions and pictures, By the Book, suggesting:
A new collection by Schoemperlen (At a Loss for Words, 2008, etc.) offers stories that revel in unconventional forms and odd details, each one mining texts from the late 19th and early 20th centuries in an exploration of collage and fragmentation.
Only one piece in this strangely appealing collection, “By the Book Or: Alessandro in the New World,” engages with the traditional expectations of narrative. ... Schoemperlen builds her own story around the old words, focusing attention on how texts might shape life and our perception of it. This exploration continues in pieces that are less and less like traditional stories. “A Body Like a Little Nut” rearranges phrases from a botany textbook in alphabetical order, creating a sequence of images and sounds that works almost musically to encourage imaginative association ... urging the reader to make unusual connections with the personal baggage of their own imaginations. Collages, also created by Schoemperlen, illustrate each story.
An extremely clever and often graceful collection that rewards the curious reader but should not be approached with the expectation of traditional story.