Meredith Quartermain: The Not of What She Didn’t Know

by ToryFinnSaarinen

Meredith Quartermain’s ten-piece collection of micro-fictions, “The Not of What She Didn’t Know,” has a fresh, unique flow. This contemporary literature blurs the boundaries between micro-fiction and poetry and captivates the reader in the dreamlike settings. The illuminating word choice sheds light on interwoven ideals, for example, “A thousand hurricanes thrashed inside the snare.”

“The Lawn Dress,” and “The Sonic Boom Catcher,” capture the themes of her ensemble accurately. They are original in the way they seem scattered but fit together like a puzzle. Quartermain’s play on words and amusing approach have a positive appeal. In each piece, the reader is plunged into beginnings and led through the intricate framework. The compositions each end on a strong note, powerful, even ominous, “Stand back from my (s)words,” for example. These leave the reader to reflect on the true message. Quartermain provokes our imaginations, making the impossible possible, such as a “horse-dog,” using colourful arrays of expressions. The names she gives her characters are historically profound, like “Kaspar”; she even works herself into some of the pieces as a narrator character in an interesting way. Quartermain weaves conflict, struggles, relationships and wonder into her micro-fictions. Ideas are mashed together to bring out wonderful new creations that push the limits of conception.

Quartermain’s colourful urban background is reflected in her creative writing style. Her work is a healthy mixture of reality and fantasy. The sentences appear tangled and choppy at first but a thorough reading brings the atmosphere and characters to life. Her clever approach is attractive as the pieces can be interpreted many ways. The word and sentence structure appear as poetry to some and micro-fiction to others.

Works Cited: Quartermain, Meredith. “The Not of What She Didn’t Know.” The Capilano Review 3.12 (2010):  49-58.  Print.

Word Count: 276


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