Fiction Collective Two is an author-run, not-for-profit publisher of artistically adventurous, non-traditional fiction.

The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold

Ketzia Gold

The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold
by Kate Bernheimer

Paperback
2002. 194 pp.
978-1-57366-096-9
Price: $14.50

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The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold is a lavishly poetic novel that draws upon the motifs of traditional German, Russian and Yiddish folklore and fairy stories to recount the visionary obsessions of a passionate young woman. The narrative moves freely through time and space, uniting Ketzia Gold's early childhood with her sexual awakenings, creating a dreamscape of haunting vividness. Marked by a logical illogic and disarmingly sane madness, this haunting and innovative fable creates an emotional landscape that's as impossible to escape as it is for young Ketzia to inhabit. Kate Bernheimer interweaves hypnotic imagery and everyday life, moving back and forth through time, piecing together the fragments of memory and imagination with an obsessive lyricism that recalls the poetic fictions of Carol Maso. Bernheimer's story is a rich tapestry, patterned with childhood longings and the luxuriant complexity of womanhood.



"The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold [is] a truly original approach to the Bildungsroman, in which Kate Bernheimer has constructed a coherent and compelling narrative by cobbling together the plot lines of a wide variety of fairy tales, and my admiration for her talent as a writer, and the dazzling use to which she puts it, is of the highest order." —Kathryn Davis



"These beautifully written tales wander in and out of reality, connected by their exacting language and unexpected turns of phrase."—Rain Taxi



"Her book evades both the poetic froufrou that bogs down some contemporary retellings of fairy tales and the saccharine fug we associate, perhaps unfairly, with Disney animation."—Village Voice



"The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold [is] a truly original approach to the Bildungsroman, in which Kate Bernheimer has constructed a coherent and compelling narrative by cobbling together the plot lines of a wide variety of fairy tales, and my admiration for her talent as a writer, and the dazzling use to which she puts it, is of the highest order."—Kathryn Davis



"Original and beautifully written.... Kate Bernheimer is an exceptional writer of fiction."—Fanny Howe



"Kate Bernheimer's fiction offers a unique and delicate gift, the tempting mirage of a grace that constantly escapes. The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold is an exceptional, lovely book, beautifully enigmatic, speaking a language that mysteriously evokes the unspoken."—Lydia Millet



"The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold ... moves about in an artful daze from past to present to a fantasyland..."—The Reader



 

Excerpt

 

THE SALTMARSH TALE OF LIES

I want to tell you something, so listen. saw two bathers flying. They flew with their breasts turned heavenward and their backs faced hellward. The first wore a striped bikini, the second a plain pair of trunks. Once I saw a bird in a shake at the boardwalk's fancy ice-cream stand, and then an anchor and some dune grass swam across the bay just as gracefully as you please. The anchor was surprising but dune grass is more lovely. Four girls in eyeglasses tried to catch a rabbit that lived in the mansion lawn. The first girl was sad, the second girl was afraid, the third girl was insecure and the fourth girl was just plain mean. Do you want to know what happened? The first saw the animal and tearfully told the second, who ran away to tell the third, who tried in vain to catch the rabbit. Shut up if you don't believe me. This is all in the country by the sea where a lobster chased me to a field of windflowers enclosed by a wall. Inside I saw a cow, who had gotten there by leaping. There are greenflies and blackflies and dragonflies there. So open the window and let the lies out, I say.