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AnnaT
Posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 01:47 pm:   

Spotted Lily, my first novel (Prime, an imprint of Wildside),is now released and is this month's featured fantasy:
See "New Releases"
http://www.wildsidepress.com/newsletter.html
and
http://www.wildsidepress.com/cgi-bin/miva?Merchant2/merchant.mv+Screen=PROD&Stor e_Code=WP1&Product_Code=0809544822&Category_Code=Tambour1

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JV
Posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 03:26 pm:   

Congrats, Anna. I'm looking forward to reading it.

JeffV
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Mastadge
Posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 04:32 pm:   

Yes. Loved the collection; I'll be picking up this novel ASAP.
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 05:17 pm:   

conrats, anna. looks neat.
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 06:00 pm:   

http://vanderworld.blogspot.com/2005/02/anna-tambour-walks-plank.html

Anna walks the plank--and calls small children "gristle"!!! the horror.

JeffV
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Vera Nazarian
Posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 06:46 pm:   

Love it! SPOTTED LILY is on top of my to-buy list! :-)
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AnnaT
Posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 11:35 pm:   

Thanks for the warm messages. Mastage, your reading list and comments always intrigue, so I appreciate your faith in bogging into this dubious treat without a foretaste. Vera, too. Hope the pudding is worth eating.
And thanks for shoving me on the plank, nautical Dr JV. I'm sure it was good for my health, though one good-for-the-health experience is enough for anyone. May you be wrapped in a wet spare mizzenmast and cast into a copulation of eels if you have any more health treatments up your sleeve.

Now Ben, you sent me a great collection of quotes for my proposed site 21C A & E (21st Century Aphorisms and Epigrams), but, though I got some beauties from you and a few other folks, there weren't enough submissions to launch this. If there is more interest, I would still love to make this into something worthy of you, and of writers (and of course, thinkers) today.
Anyone for A & E?
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 04:15 am:   

that's cool anna, do with them or not as you wish. i had plans to make them into something bigger--a larger aphorism work, but it never got going, so i was just left with bits. if they don't get used they'll just sit on the harddrive or in the blog.

either way, i'm not terribly fussed :-)
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Tamar
Posted on Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 02:00 pm:   

It looks beautiful, Anna. Congratulations!
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AnnaT
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 02:05 am:   

Thanks, Tamar!
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Vera Nazarian
Posted on Saturday, March 19, 2005 - 06:40 pm:   

Reading SPOTTED LILY now -- this is the most humor-rich and piquant "deal-with-the-devil" story I've read in a long time, and it puts me in mind of the great Bulgakov's satire THE MASTER AND MARGARITA.

If you haven't picked up your copy yet, everyone, don't wait, this one is a gem!

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AnnaT
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 03:52 am:   

You made my day, Vera, especially since THE MASTER AND MARGARITA always has a subtext, in my mind. I always want to call it THE MASTER AND THE MARGARITA, in which case I guess it would have to be written by, uh, who? Edna Ferber? Dorothy Parker? Anita Loos?
or considering the history of the Margarita
http://www.cocktailtimes.com/history/margarita.html

is this a case for Raymond Chandler?
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AnnaT
Posted on Sunday, April 10, 2005 - 04:35 am:   

I've put Chapter One on my site, for those who'd a taste.
find it here
www.annatambour.net
or go directly to the page
http://www.annatambour.net/Spotted_Lily_Chapter_1.pdf
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Dunmore
Posted on Friday, April 15, 2005 - 05:29 pm:   

Wow. I just read it. That's one hell of a chapter. Must be one hell of a book.

Anyone else browsing around the site, like I am, should seriously take a look at this.

All the best, Anna!
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AnnaT
Posted on Friday, April 15, 2005 - 06:20 pm:   

Thank you, Dunmore!
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Vera Nazarian
Posted on Tuesday, April 19, 2005 - 10:13 pm:   

Anna and everyone,

I finished the stunning novel and here are my thoughts, (reposted from my LJ and elsewhere):

First, let me say in advance that although I had *nothing* to do with this book's acquisition or editing or release, I work for Wildside Press and this is a Prime Books/ Wildside title.... which probably means that I am ineligible to make a Nebula recommendation of this novel, due to a possible conflict of interest (or I am assuming that's the case).

However, I strongly urge the those of you interested in literary works to give this first novel a try, and if applicable, make your Nebula recommendations (or Hugo, or whatever award you may find applicable -- it is that good). My commentary follows.

-----------------------

SPOTTED LILY by Anna Tambour
Prime Books / Wildside, March 2005.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0809544830/ref=nosim/veranazariafanta


SPOTTED LILY is a remarkable novel of dark satire. It is brutal and terrifying. It is painful and beautiful. It is profound and I think it has the makings of a classic. This is far from an easy read, and it is not commercial -- it simply cannot be, not with the nature of themes it explores: god is dead and ultimate ennui.

Herein lies a peculiar, resonant, and bitter combination of Bulgakov's THE MASTER AND MARGARITA, a very adult version of Philip Pullman's HIS DARK MATERIALS, with frequent touches of Kafka and Marquez's ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE.

The satire is dark and biting and yet it is the pathos of Angela that got to me, her humanism and vulnerability and the subtle nature of the fragile self and self-image hell (on earth!) she wallows in -- it broke my heart.

The novel is steeped in a succession of naturalist and surreal details -- sensual, beautiful/ugly dissonance and erotic fetish -- frequently shocking, and, in my opinion, supremely memorable. There is loss of dignity and the redemption of self, over and over; a dance.

And the Australian heart is there -- I who have never been to Australia feel that now I have; the Bush is IMPRINTED upon me. Her childhood home, the secret place her father wept... flowers placed in ordinary jam jars to bloom in small private wonder.

The journey of Angela is ultimately an amazing piece of psychological portraiture. And her deal with the Devil is merely the tip of the iceberg.

This is, to me, a work of literary significance, transcending genre boundaries -- Anna Tambour makes an amazing novel debut.

If you are an Active SFWA Member, please consider recommending this work for the Nebula.

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KeithB
Posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 04:29 am:   

I can only echo Vera's comments. As I mentioned in the intro to my interview with Anna for www.infinityplus.co.uk I dipped into Spotted Lily expecting to come back to it later on when I actually had the time, but... I just had to read on. It's passionate, it's intense, it's profoundly human and humane and honest, and, when it comes down to it, a hell of a read.
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Mastadge
Posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 04:39 am:   

Well, my copy arrived yesterday, so I guess I shouldn't count on getting any work done today. . .
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 05:52 am:   

I still haven't gotten my review copy. :-(

Jeff
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AnnaT
Posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 03:35 pm:   

My breakfast reading, and *what* reading! I don't know how to reply, my heart is so full, except to say Thank you. I've had, however, to take an ice pick to my head just now to punch a hole in it. One can function with a full heart, but a fat head gets caught in doors, even though the swelling erased all my wrinkles . . .

And JV, *^&*&%^^!!!! I am astounded. You shall have that book this bloody week.

Mastadge, thank you for taking a punt and buying it.
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 07:43 am:   

I just ordered a copy for myself. Can't wait to get it.

JK
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Dunmore
Posted on Friday, April 22, 2005 - 05:09 pm:   

My copy is on the way. And I can't wait as well!
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AnnaT
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2005 - 03:52 am:   

This is truly better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick, John and Dunmore. For me, that is. It remains to be seen how the reading experiences will be for you, but I hope our 'better than' is mutual. Though 'mutual' isn't the right word. What is? And eating raw oyster ice cream is better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick . . .
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Dunmore
Posted on Friday, May 20, 2005 - 05:41 pm:   

My copy arrived a day or two ago, and I'm already about a quarter of the way through (which is more than mega-fast for me, being such a ponderous reader).

One can truly say that there are moments in this book that will last in the memory forever.

That doesn't happen often. So I think that sums it up, really.

Plus, I'm still trying to come to terms with how it's possible to write something that is so full of complexities and overlapping levels and, yet, is so light and easy to read at the same time.

But enough! I don't want to give anything away, except for the fact that, to reinforce what I said earlier (now thriced and quadrupled), this is one hell of a good read.



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AT
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 05:36 pm:   

'Thriced and quadrupled', Dunmore. What a nice ring that has.
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Dunmore
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 12:39 pm:   

Finished!

I can only echo what I said previously and octruple it, if that's linguistically possible.

And a cracking ending.

Actually, I just noticed something from earlier. I deliberately waited till I'd finished the book before reading Vera Nazarin's excellent summary above, being one of those readers who prefers knowing next to nothing of what's inside a book prior to reading it.

In her text, Vera describes Spotted Lily as "frequently shocking, and, in my opinion, supremely memorable", which (I know, I flatter myself) is exactly what I was trying to say about it, too, in a far less incisive way than Vera (when I spoke about moments lasting in the memory forever, which almost sounds like a lyric from a Donnie Osmond song).

But it's already a corroboration of the fact, surely, that this book is indeed a very memorable read. And hugely funny, too. And more.
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Anna Tambour
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 04:27 pm:   

"Linguistic possibilities" be buggered! Dunmore, you've made my day. And more.
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AT
Posted on Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - 04:35 pm:   

in Locus' New and Notable Books:
" This full-length debut by a talented Australian short story writer rings unlikely changes on the classic ‘‘deal with the Devil’’ plot, with a bit of Pygmalion stirred in. Comedic and chaotic, this is a ‘‘wicked, thoroughly unpredictable romp of a first novel.’’ [Faren Miller] "
http://www.locusmag.com/2005/Issues/06NewAndNotable.html
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 05:20 pm:   

Must add my weight to the joy of having read Spotted Lily. And a great joy it was.

Thanks for a delightful (and truly crazy!) read.
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Vera Nazarian
Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2005 - 11:22 pm:   

Folks, I think we need to spread the word -- if you enjoyed SPOTTED LILY, please take a moment to review -- even a mini-review is great -- and post it all over, including your own blogs and forums.

This award-quality book deserves a wider audience!

And don't forget an Amazon review -- those do help!
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Alistair Rennie
Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - 07:36 am:   

Some thoughts on the novel which I've duly posted on Amazon:


Reading SPOTTED LILY is like coming across a new species of creature which is immediately notable for its many unusual features. It has a weird manoeuvrability that occasionally shocks with its sudden bouts of unsightliness. But it is also perfectly adaptable to the terrain it explores, showing a startling tendency to slither and dash and slither again with an impressive elasticity and ease of pace that is wholly mesmerising.

It is a provocative creature, too, and, for this reason, is liable to provoke different responses in different readers. With its sinuous prose, delicious grossness, furious dialogues and unpredictable twists and turns, it is a lesson in extremity. But it is equally, also, a novel that explores the mundane terrors and pleasures of life to tremendous effect.

It is, too, full of a gritty poignancy that tugs at the heart strings with rugged force rather than sentimentality; and its tendency to make the normal seem bizarre and the bizarre seem normal is, by now, a trademark feature of Tambour's work.

This is a book for those who like their details raw and fiction raucous; who are less enthused by the introspective meanderings of more evenly wrought character-based plots -- who prefer, instead, the charm of being suspended in a flux of ambiguities that are the residue of experiences not easily defined.

Forget, also, any hollow reproduction of the Faustian motif, with its moral dialectic of good versus evil, greed versus righteousness, covetousness versus humility. There is no coming to terms in a religious sense but a full concentration on the virtues of the material as opposed to the moral universe; and the consequences are as fascinating as they are extremely funny.

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AT
Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - 04:52 pm:   

Thanks, Alistair!
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AT
Posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2005 - 10:46 pm:   

Jeff Ford very kindly wrote about Spotted Lily
http://www.livejournal.com/users/14theditch/6171.html
followed by Jeff VanderMeer
http://vanderworld.blogspot.com/2005/09/spotted-lily-by-anna-tambour.html
I'm glad that there's no happy face that I could put on that shows my mug accurately now: Imagine the Cheshire Cat crossed with Alfred E Newman, crossed with a foudroyant sea slug.
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AT
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 02:40 pm:   

Bonza review--much about Australia--by Cheryl Morgan in Emerald City.
http://www.emcit.com/emcit121.php#Devil
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Ben Payne
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 06:09 pm:   

Congrats, Anna, that's a good review!

I really should pick up a copy... is it available locally or do we need to order it from OS?

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AT
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 07:17 pm:   

Thanks, Ben! Care to clone yourself?
I understand from Stephen Dedman that Fantastic Planet in Perth now has Australian-printed copies of both SPOTTED LILY and MONTERRA'S DELICIOSA & OTHER TALES &, but I don't know how many are left.

Fantastic Planet
Shop 8, Shafto Lane, Perth
Phone: (08) 9481 8393
e-mail: sales@fantasticplanet.com.au
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Vera Nazarian
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 08:54 pm:   

Excellent review indeed! :-)
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AT
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 10:07 pm:   

Thanks Vera. Here's another opinion, just in, by Jason Nahrung in the 25th Sept (Brisbane) Courier-Mail. (The review isn't online, so I'm pasting it here in its entirety.)

IF THE array of tales about the Devil and writers contained in the recently released Devil in Brisbane anthology didn't sate your thirst, you could try Anna Tambour's Spotted Lily (Prime) for a longer exploration of the theme.Tambour's breezy style might not be to everyone's taste. Similarly, it takes a while for much to happen as heroine, or anti-heroine, Angela signs on the dotted line in return for a brilliant writing career. The Devil sets to work to pen her masterpiece, while Angela sets to work making an alter ego worthy of the byline. But it all goes awry, and Angela must not only confront the ramifications of the relationship with the Devil but her feelings for the Australian bush she has tried to leave far behind her.
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jeff ford
Posted on Thursday, December 01, 2005 - 06:15 am:   

Anna: I don't know if you saw it, but here's a review of Spotted Lilly by Rich Horton over at SF SITE
http://www.sfsite.com/12a/sl213.htm
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AT
Posted on Thursday, December 01, 2005 - 07:50 pm:   

Thanks, Jeff!
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KeithB
Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 04:29 am:   

Great review, Anna!
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AT
Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 06:29 pm:   

Thanks, Keith. Without you there wouldn't have been a book, let alone a review.

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