f u g u e s t a t e p r e s s
P.O. Box 80, Cooper Station
New York, NY 10276
by Kathleen Bryson
$20.00 542pp. ISBN 978-1-879193-30-7
''This book envelops us in the disrupted forest edge of Hackney (Haca's Ey) North London in the years following the Black Deat--when the feudal system came apart and the surviving peasants, discovering their own value, began revolting.''In a secluded valley live the Stagtress, a girl with uncontrollable and formidable powers of metamorphosis, along with her goat brothers. She and her pious and impious siblings wander around a fragmented world where the old religion coexists with an upstart christian patriarchy and heretic strains of alchemy.''Unaccountably, strangers, who may come from the same place but adifferent time, knock on the door. Animistic and apocalyptic, we getvisions of abandoned cityscapes and nuclear deserts. The maincharacters, always travelling, are trying to get back somewhere orforward somewhere, surprisingly encountering each other despiteinhabiting different centuries.''The book is long, possibly too long, but how much time have you got? Sink into the lush, entrancing,mesmeric word tapestry. Possibly this is a manual for steering our way in the post-covid world.''
--Dr. Camilla Power, radical anthropologist, Radical Anthropology Group
uncommon sense, and forest-dwellers remember the true meaning of sacrifice.''
--Kerri Sharp, Atlantis Bookshop, London
THE STAGTRESS by Kathleen Bryson is a holy book, a syncretic novel of scientific, pagan, xtian, gnostic, and folkloric imagery.
It's about a little girl who starts to grow stag antlers.
Kathleen Bryson, the novelist/artist/evolutionary anthropologist who wrote this ecstatically gender-fluid masterpiece, also painted the trippy cover art and another couple dozen illustrations within.
The book occurs this way:
Once upon a spacetime, in a medieval forest still shuddering from the Black Death, little Florentine busily grows her own set of stag antlers as she comes of age, then falls in love, and then --
Once upon a spacetime, on grimy North London streets, blackened helicopters buzzing overhead, amnesiac Jack undergoes toughlove kokology to recall his old life, and then --
Once upon a spacetime, across a bombed-out future desert, Martin hikes naked with only his walking-stick for company, and then --