Katzenjammered by Norma Kassirer
|Katzenjammered||Norma Kassirer||BlazeVOX [books]|
Katzenjammered is a brilliantly compelling illumination of the nature of storytelling. Through the haunting imagery of interwoven narratives, the tale carries the reader through family mythology, tragedy, and beyond. With, in the words of the young protagonist, “each syllable broken into light and shadow”, the language is a joy to read.
Norma Kassirer’s insouciant partnership of teeth and stones in a bowl on a small desk and her glance at the surface of a pond where “the water breaks into oriental script” are just two of her many perfect gestures. In Katzenjammered, a watchful child perceives and senses and sometimes almost understands the dark waters seeping up under the suburban world of tennis and Sunday dinners surrounding her. Woven through the book are bits of journal entries from her father’s tour of duty at the Front during World War I: a leit motif which events ultimately rise to meet. There is more to come. You won’t want to miss it.
“I pull the green shade and cancel her” tells nine-year-old Martha, lending privacy to her narrational eye. This is narrative of cancellation: canceling as it does the separation of knowledge and innocence, discovery and secrecy, poetry and fiction. Cross these categories as Kassirer does—with irreverent caution.
Norma Kassirer lives in Buffalo, New York. The Hidden Wife, a collection of her stories with artwork by Willyum Rowe, was published by Shuffaloff Press in 1991. Other stories and poems
have appeared in various journals, including Blatant Artifice, Sow’s Ear, Yellow Edenwald Field, and elsewhere. Her short story cycle Milly was published in 2008 by the Buffalo Ochre Papers.
She has also written two novels for children, both published by the Viking Press: Magic Elizabeth, in 1966 (reprinted by Harper and by Knopf and Scholastic, and most recently appearing through Breakfast Serials), and The Doll Snatchers, Viking, 1969.
Both of her daughters have long been engaged with writing and publishing, the cover images having been drawn by her daughter Karen as a child.
· Paperback: 132 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 978-1-60964-021-7