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The Crack Magazine

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Paris Pages by Shelley Day

This novel doesn’t have chapters, it has “fragments” – 100 of them – which may give you some idea of the kind of book it is: impressionistic and, yes, fragmentary. The setting is modern day Paris, and Clara is doing research for a biography she’s writing about Max Zuniga, “The man mysteriously missing from Freud’s inner circle.” Also in the mix is Clara, a photographer who, after documenting the plight of desperate migrants, is having doubts about art’s value and purpose. We get sentences such as: “It’s not as though she needed shoes, more shoes, more shoes, but more that she was a gambler who could not resist, compulsive, could not resist, in which, she resembled her late friend Evie who ate apples, only apples and nothing but apples, who couldn’t stop herself from eating apples.” A bit knotty, yes, often incantatory, but readers who persevere will be rewarded with a tale that works a strange kind of magic. RM

Postbox Press