For the past few months, I’ve been living in the bizarre and exquisite surreal world of Leonora Carrington. This year is her centennial, and the publishing world celebrated by bringing most of her writing back into print!
Dorothy, a publishing project published THE COMPLETE STORIES OF LEONORA CARRINGTON in the US, while Silver Press launched their new feminist press in the UK with THE DEBUTANTE AND OTHER STORIES.
Sequentially, New York Review of Books Classics released Carrington’s novella DOWN BELOW and a children’s book MILK OF DREAMS. Virago books published the first proper and authorized biography, THE SURREAL LIFE OF LEONORA CARRINGTON by Joanna Moorhead.
And I’ve been celebrating this wonderful comeback with my read-along, “Hyenas, Horses, and Rabbits, Oh My!” of all the above with WeirdFictionReview.com, and several GIVEAWAYS! Each giveaway will feature one of the Carrington books discussed, plus an ARC of my debut collection, CALLS FOR SUBMISSION.
We started with Part 2, where Craig from Indiana was the lucky winner of a copy of MILK OF DREAMS.
Our next giveaway began today to commemorate the conclusion of reading THE COMPLETE STORIES OF LEONORA CARRINGTON for Part 3, which you can read here.
To enter the giveaway, email your mailing address to email@example.com with the subject of “Carrington” by October 31st. US residents only. Winner will receive a copy of THE COMPLETE STORIES OF LEONORA CARRINGTON from Dorothy, a publishing project, and also receive a signed ARC of CALLS FOR SUBMISSION.
My original intention, and pitch, for this piece was to be a discussion about the last ten years effort at a Women Surrealist Revival. An effort I believe is at its apex, what with the Leonora Carrington centennial, a first ever monograph of Eileen Agar, and the two new Claude Cahun books coming out this summer, including Exist Otherwise, the first English biography of the gender-bending photographer.
But as I started drafting, the essay took a different and much more personal route. I’d been re-acquainting myself with these artists since the election, and fully realized in the writing of this piece how they were helping me reassess and reaffirm what I believe the potential of art truly can be. Something I had been struggling with all year, and as a result lead to a lot of dead ins and head-wall banging.
But as I started to look at what and who I had been dipping back into–Carrington, Cahun, Césaire, Kahlo, and Mina Loy–all women who commented on the political by drawing upon the personal, I realized I had to step up and go there myself. The Revival turned into Survival.
So, here then, is an achievement of a few things. First, it is the first finished thing I’ve produced since the election; Second, it is both a celebration of the internal resistance of the past, and advocation of its exploration in the future; three, it’s on LITHUB!
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to check it out, and if you liked it, please share it widely with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!