The Cartography of Others
By Catherine McNamara
The Cartography of Others is a collection of short stories that explores the geography of the body and the migration of the heart
Publication date: May 2018Buy
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‘strongly atmospheric from the first sentence’ Hilary Mantel on ‘The Wild Beasts of the Earth Will Adore Him’ (What Lies Beneath, Kingston University Press)
A saint is crucified on the same Mediterranean island where, centuries later, a Japanese soprano recovers her lost voice. Youths throw a rock through a car windscreen in urban Accra, and a woman sees this as a sign she will never reproduce. A murderer escapes across the Sydney suburbs, bringing together an ex-swimming champion, a yoga devotee and a Chinese virgin. An insolent nephew recovers from illness to ask his wealthy aunt for accommodation for himself and his pregnant wife. In Hong Kong, a mistress awaits her married lover in a luxury hotel, and at a summer party outside Verona, a Ukrainian émigré seduces a heavily pregnant woman’s husband in his last foray into the world of hedonism. After his father’s car strikes a fox, a boy roams a French village at night, and in West Africa a young advertising executive tries to make sense of a corpse in an Elvis shirt, and an American woman who sleeps with her dogs.
The Cartography of Others is a collection of twenty stories that take place from fumy Accra to the Italian Dolomites, from suburban Sydney to high-rise Hong Kong. Lives are mapped, unpicked, crafted, overturned. Each story inhabits a location that becomes as vital as the characters themselves, men and women who are often far from home, immersed in unfamiliar cultures, estranged from those they hold dear. Love is panicked, worn, tested.
‘Catherine McNamara's stories map landmarks of psychological encounter with sensuality and finesse. Hers is an international canvas, capturing the points where contemporary lives cross with haunting detail. Beautiful work.’ Cathy Galvin, Founder and Director of The Word Factory, author of the poetry collections Black and Blue and Rough Translation
‘McNamara does things with words (most) other writers cannot. Her stories are sensual and assured. Not a writer to be ignored.’ Tom Vowler, Editor of Short Fiction, author of the short story collections The Method and Other Stories and Dazzling the Gods
‘Catherine McNamara's writing is superb, this latest collection presents a unique way to talk about displacement and sensuality.’ Eric Akoto, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Litro Magazine
‘A master of mood and atmosphere, Catherine McNamara has a keen eye for the startling image that so often holds the heart of a story – a blue tent the morning after a party, a naked woman spreading herself across a window high above Hong Kong. Her theme is desire - its ambiguities, betrayals, bruises, and joys - and this is fearless, sensuous writing. Her prose is meticulous, the stories rich with insight and empathy. Highly recommended.' Annemarie Neary, prize-winning short story writer, author of The Siren