I had the pleasure of interviewing James Dorr for Author Corner awhile back, and one of the things we discussed was his short story collection, The Tears of Isis. I’ve finally been able to read it (I blame actual employment and graduate school for the delay), and the first thing I want to mention is how beautiful it is. The language Dorr uses as he tells his stories is wonderful. Some of the stories are his takes on fairy tales. Cindy is the most obvious one, but others are Snow White and Sleeping Beauty told as River Red and The Ice Maiden, respectively. What I enjoyed most about these stories is that they employ the same world dynamics. It was nice to go back to this world and read other aspects of it. His versions of the tales are unique and subtle. In fact, with River Red and The Ice Maiden, I didn’t realize what they were until after I had finished reading the collection. Some people may not like the delayed connection, and maybe those people who are smarter than I am will make the connection as they read these stories, but I rather enjoyed that I was still appreciating the collection and getting new things from it after the fact. The final story, The Tears of Isis, was the most sublime (Burke) for me. I had the most powerful reaction reading it, a mix of horror, disgust, and fascination, and I think it was well placed within the collection.
If you’re looking for some new reading material, I’d suggest grabbing a copy of this book.