Thursday, February 1, 2024

Book Review: The Black Leopard's Kiss & The Writer Remembers by Laury Egan

This morning, I have a literary piece to share! Check out The Black Leopard's Kiss & The Writer Remembers, read my thoughts on the novellas and learn about author Laury Egan.

Book TitleThe Black Leopard's Kiss & The Writer Remembers by Laury A. Egan
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+), 306 pages
Genre:  Literary, with magical realism
Publisher:  Spectrum Books
Release Date: Dec 16, 2023

Content Rating:  PG + M.  Language is moderate; scenes of attempted incest and lesbian encounter.  
“A fast slide and a wild ride, dizzying and amazing!”
—Beverly Harris, author of “The Two-Dollar Fortune”

"Characters “peel off layer after layer of age and the fa├žades accrued in a lifetime until emotional truths are revealed—a Russian doll effect. Novellas that felt like falling into a rabbit hole, where the rules of my world no longer applied and were being changed as I went along….with the characters turning into their own creators. A work infused with the possibility of disaster and violence, a sense of foreboding permeates the pages.”—Dr. Helga Schier, former executive editor, Random House

“A winning combination of genius. Complimenting each other beautifully, using elegant and poetic prose, these clever novellas explore the life of Sidonie Ross in an autobiographical style with a twist. Intriguing throughout, the possibilities about what is transpiring are only as limited as your imagination allows. Sidonie's story is emotionally complex, with mystery and fantasy elements that elevated it into a wonderful exploration of the mind and memory.”—Carol Archer Hutchinson, LESBIreviewed

“…so much to admire in [these] brilliantly interlinked novellas: their elegance and wit, the sophistication of the narrative style, the assured and prolonged focus on scene, with all its pure and revealing gestures and withholdings, and the weaving in of larger thematic questions about the interpenetration of literature and life, questions which are themselves mirrored beautifully by the fluidity of gender and sexuality, youth and age.”--M. Allen Cunningham, author of "Perpetua’s Kin"
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About the Book

Featuring magical realism and "Orlando"-esque touches, the two linked novellas plunge the reader into the slippery world of an aging writer as she delves into her half-remembered childhood and re-experiences volatile relationships. The swirling structure, with its interwoven narratives and warping time periods, deals with the treacherous nature of memory and how an author, Sidonie Ross, returns to the past in order to illuminate and understand it; how unhealed wounds from childhood re-surface in adult consciousness like emotional thorns, especially those relating to shame, guilt, disappointment, betrayal, and rejection. 
My Review

Wonderful Blend of Fantasy and Reality. The author does an amazing job giving her main character stories that blend fantasy elements with a relatable reality that is impossible to escape. Sidonie must explore the past, with its traumas, emotions, and mysteries, as her story unfolds. Sometimes, the lines are so expertly drawn that readers find themselves questioning the truths (and fantasies). 
Two Novellas Bring a Life into Focus. While the book contains two novellas, the stories are well-connected and complement each other perfectly.  Sidonie and supporting characters are interrelated in both stories, with the second being a mysterious venture into pieces of the past.  Both novellas create a vision of the author's life for readers that is emotional and thought-provoking.
Would I Recommend The Black Leopard's Kiss & The Writer Remembers by Laury A. Egan? I enjoyed both novellas, with both weaving fiction and reality into a novel perfect for a main character who is an author.  If you enjoy realistic fantasy with secrets, hidden truths, and moments of self-discovery and emotional turmoil--these two novellas are engaging from start to finish.
Buy the Book

Meet the Author

Laury A. Egan is the author of twelve novels: "The Psychologist’s Shadow;" "The Firefly;" "Once, Upon an Island;" "Wave in D Minor;" "Turnabout;" "Doublecrossed;" "The Swimmer;" "The Ungodly Hour;" "A Bittersweet Tale;" "Fabulous! An Opera Buffa;" "The Outcast Oracle;" and "Jenny Kidd;" and a collection, "Fog and Other Stories." Four limited-edition poetry volumes have been published: "Snow, Shadows, a Stranger;" "Beneath the Lion’s Paw;" "The Sea & Beyond"; and "Presence & Absence." Eighty-five of her stories and poems have appeared in literary journals and anthologies. Her fiction ranges from literary to psychological suspense, coming-of-age, comedy, and YA.

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