The Not of What She Didn’t Know Review

by alyssajai

In “The Not Of What She Didn’t Know”, Vancouver-based author Meredith Quartermain presents a collection of micro-fictions that are vastly diverse, yet unified in the depths of intrigue. Each short story remains short and mindfully structured yet forces the reader to indulge in the layered depths of the text. In limited words and space, Quartermain’s collection encompasses purpose and wit within each thought provoking story. Using an atypical approach to the telling of a story, she uses her collection to explore imperfection and leaves one pondering in thought.
A casual read through this collection will simply not suffice. Much like the collection in its entirety, the micro fictions titled, “A Disagreement Over Lunch,” and “L’amante anglaise,” contain conversation and character change that move quickly within the text. This may consequently cause the overall story to be difficult to grasp. The stories are so immensely concentrated that it is necessary to be mentally sharp when reading the text. However this does not take away from the richness of Quartermain’s work, it merely contributes to the sense of curiosity one is left with after reading it.
A reoccurring theme within each story is the dominant feeling of tension – whether it be longing, desire, romance, or even an internal struggle. This variety of tension is the underlying foundation of each micro-fiction. A duality is ever present not only in the forces within each text, but also in the content itself. “The Lawn Dress,” provides a dual meaning to the language used, and again provides layers to the story. The diverse language, punctuation, and overall structure used by Quartermain evokes a sense of play despite the effect of the topic at hand,
For readers looking for text with undeniable depth and intrigue, Quartermain’s collection of micro-fictions is the perfect fit. It is engaging and irresistibly unique. Curiosity is sparked and will leave you lost in profound thought.

Works Cited

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


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