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Sara George
Posted on Monday, November 27, 2006 - 10:54 am:   

Hi Liz!

It´s Sara from Sweden here. I just have to tell you that I think the Beccon Press version of Chip Crockett’s Christmas Carol is SO beautiful. The graphigs, the colours of the cover, the pictures.... I´m the proud owner of a copy of the book. In terms of covers and art work I think it´s your nicest book so far.

I have do add that Apocalypse in Berlin and Cleopatra Brimstone are my favourite short stories of all time and Mortal Love my favourite novel of all time. Your writing means so much to me, Liz. I get dazzled, amazed when reading what you write. The way you use the language, the words. Especially the stories written during the "second half" of your career touch me immensely.

Do you think you will be visiting Europe soon? It would be really nice to get to meet you one day ;)

Sara

(I think I first, by mistake, posted this message in some strange place, as some sub-thread somewhere in this forum, I don´t know where.)
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Elizabeth Hand
Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 02:49 am:   

Hi Sara,

Thanks so much! I'll pass that on to Judith, the artist. I think she did an amazing job with the illustrations -- I just love them.

Thanks too for your words about the later stories. It is interesting, getting older and writing and being able to tap into one's reservoir of experience -- not that I've stopped having experiences! -- but finally having the sort of distance and maturity to not focus on the special effects so much as the emotional ones. It's not nothing I could do when I was younger. There are many benefits to being a real grownup.

If you like "Chip Crockett," you should check out ILLYRIA (mentioned in another thread here). It's another Christmas story, sort of; not so specifically focused on Christmas but on a production of "Twelfth Night" (my favorite literary work). The two stories are very different but my experience of writing them was similar, so, for me anyway, they sortn of bracket each other.

And they both use Yonkers as a kind of touchstone. Me and Paul Levinson and Avram Davidson and Ellen Datlow, we all have Yonkers roots.

I'll be at Finncon next summer. I'd love to meet if you'll be there. And someday I hope to visit Stockholm -- I live in Maine and I love northern places.

all best,
Liz
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Elizabeth Hand
Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 02:51 am:   

PS -- I see you work at the Strindberg Museum! How cool is THAT?!!!
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Sara George
Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 01:42 pm:   

Hi Liz!

I will be at Finncon! I so much look forward to meeting you there and and getting to listen to you and talk to you!
I will combine that with a little holiday in Finland. I have wanted to go there for many years. (I love the Kalevala and I love Finnish jewellery and Finnish clothing design).

Illyria- I have ordered the book. Through a great book store in Uppsala called The Uppsala English Bookshop. The owner, Jan, was the person who first introduced me to you a few years ago.

I´m lucky to work at the Strindberg Museum. I wrote my master degree essay on the museum- I discussed which physical objects the museum uses to symbolise Strindberg. So that´s how I got the job. Strindberg has written some great things, I especially like some of his short stories and A Dreamplay. I know you have worked in a museum too! I love museums.

All the best to you too!
Sara
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Elizabeth Hand
Posted on Thursday, November 30, 2006 - 03:11 am:   

Sara,

Wonderful that you'll be at Finnconn! We can sit and discuss the Sampo at great length. I've always wanted to visit Finland, so this will be a sort of dream come true.

The Strindberg Museum sounds fascinating. Amazing that you did your thesis on it, and are now working there. I read a lot of Strindberg (the plays) when I was younger, and I've always loved the denouement of FANNY AND ALEXANDER, where the actress grandmother is reading from "A Dream Play." (F&A was also a touchstone for ILLYRIA.)

I love museums too. Ever since I was a kid, I thought the coolest thing in the world would be to live in a museum. I like the old-fashioned kind, stuffed with stuff, or art museums. Interactive computer displays bore me.

Thanks for writing!

Liz
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Iain Emsley
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 11:53 am:   

I've just reread this and have written a review on my blog as its one of those books which has refused to get out of my mind since I read it during the summer.

It is a real treat to see an author go through her own roots and come out with a traditional and modern take on a story. It was a pleasant couple of hours on the sofa rereading this and playing a Ramones cd (it had to be done).

Looking forward to Generation Loss.
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Elizabeth Hand
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 02:34 pm:   

Hi Iain -- thanks so much for posting that! It's a lovely review, and I'm always so touched when people read the story and like it. It really does have a special place in my heart (if that doesn't sound too corny, but hey, it's Christmas!).

Thinking of which, I'm off in the morning to see Lou Reed's "Berlin" in Brooklyn, performed for the first time ever. This was a seminal album for me when it came out in the early 70s -- I was still in high school, and I'm actually going to see the show with the high school friend who was the only other person I knew then who was also into the album. My friend and sometime collaborator Paul Witcover is going too. Should be quite a show. I am SO psyched.

Could this be the beginning of a new holiday tradition? Lou Reed as the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come .....?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 06:36 pm:   

Sorry I won't be there! It sounds like a brilliant event.

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