‘Morning, 1908’ by Claire-Louise Bennett

The title refers to an image by photographer Clarence H. White, in which a solitary woman walks through a misty landscape carrying a glass globe. There is a kind of constraint, evocative of the repression which haunts all Bennett’s interlinked stories. It is an exquisite story, tense and banal in equal measure. This book holds a record for me, for the amount of times I abandoned it part-read, only to be haunted by its voice, to return to it and abandon it time and time again. It still has the force to irritate me, yet has become a book I return to almost monthly. The notion of self as alienating and enigmatic rather than familiar is ever-present. It calls into question recognition and perception.

Included in Pond, Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2015

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