Three Masquerades: Novellas by Rachel Ingalls Selected and Introduced by Daniel Handler
Daniel Handler assembled this collection from Rachel Ingalls’ wide selection of novellas as a perfect introduction to her beguiling talent.
I See a Long Journey and On Ice, novellas Mr. Handler considers basically perfect, originally appeared with a third, Blessed Art Thou, a story he considers to be in an entirely different tone. He felt that Friends in the Country from Ms. Ingalls’ later collection, The End of Tragedy, was a more natural companion to the two earlier works. The author happily agreed.
I See a Long Journey introduces us to Flora who is induced by her husband, James, to take a vacation only because his chauffeur Michael, custodian of their persons and their purse, will accompany them. Things, as they so often do in Ingalls’ world, will go appalling awry.
Friends in the Country wherein a young couple drive outside of London for a Friday dinner and find themselves trapped for the weekend in a manner that surpasses Stephen King, if not in outright horror then certainly in subtlety and suggestiveness.
On Ice finds Beverley with her fiancé at an elegant hotel where she is introduced to a grande dame whose funeral Beverley’s convinced she had witnessed 10 years before.
“So deft and austere in its prose, so drolly casual in its fantasy…” – John Updike
“In all these novellas, the gait is easy, as casual masks are stripped away and the unconscious Furies rush in to claim their prey. Ingalls is a superlative writer, careful in her craft and awesome in her effects.” – LA Times, 1986
“Shortly after beginning each of the novellas in this remarkable collection, I was seized with a haunting conviction that I was reading works I would not easily forget.” – Joseph Heller
“Rachel Ingalls ‘ elegantly written tales mix reality and fantasy in surprising ways, casting a dark light on the conventions of our lives, our ideas about marriage, youth and age . . . she deserves to be as well-known in America as she is in England.” — Alison Laurie
“She is one of the most interesting stylists anywhere, having distilled a prose that makes Hemingway prolix, and taking for her subject that moment when the ordinary collides with the metaphysical … Her Fables … make that fabulous plausible.” — The Boston Globe
5.5” x 8.25”, $16.00
Paperback, 208 pages
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