A Gypsy's Book of Revelations
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About the Author
Cécile Barlier was born in France and received her master's degree from the Sorbonne University in Paris. For over two decades, she has lived in the United States, raising two daughters and working alongside her husband Pierre as an entrepreneur. She lives in Lafayette, California. Three of her short stories--"A Gypsy's Book of Revelation," "Forgetting," and "M.R.I"--have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. "Forgetting" was featured in Epiphany's The Writers Studio at 30 anthology. Barlier won the 2019 Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction. Barlier's other work has been widely featured (or is forthcoming) in a variety of literary magazines, including Amarillo Bay, Valparaiso Fiction Review, Cerise Press, and Delmarva Review.
This collection has an astonishing range of styles and subject matters--it seems that there's no character or situation the author is afraid to explore, and the stories are full of surprising experimentation and a balance between realism and the weird that I found deeply compelling. Readers who, like me, are fans of Jim Shepard and Carmen Maria Machado will find much to admire here: like Shepard, these stories vividly embody surprising and unusual premises and worlds; like Machado, they are fearlessly nontraditional in their structure and approach. But they are also their own unique thing, sui generis, each story imbued with authority and wisdom. I'm super excited about this author's future work.
--Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will
Cécile Barlier's new book of stories, A Gypsy's Book of Revelation, is aptly named. It is truly a book of revelations--magical realism turned upside down and inside out. The imagination here is extraordinary: an old woman's last thoughts on her way to being cremated, a mother who loses her son on a freeway, and a woman in deep conversation with all her dead relatives on her way home for the first time in decades. The metaphors abound: "And I walk my dog and my dog walks me . . . and we're such big losers, but we lose in unison . . . and now the lentils are watching her, demanding explanations . . . a parade of silences marched through my head on an erratic time treadmill." Does writing on this level change us? The answer is yes, and so much so I'm seeing everything through Barlier's eyes, a lasting gift of wonders.
--Philip Schultz, author of The Wherewithal