A NOVELLA by Quentin S. Crisp
PUBLICATION DATE: February 2009
COVER ART: Artist
PRINT RUN: 500 unsigned
INTRODUCTION: Lisa Tuttle
Brett Stokes is already middle-aged and yet feels that his life has not begun. In an attempt to make sense of his existence he travels to the provincial town of Otani in Japan, hoping that, through his writing, he will obtain the insight that he lacks. But in Japan it is late autumn and, closeted within the garden of the lately widowed Mrs Kunisada, the motley collection of arboreal reds and yellows works upon Stokes' imagination, until reality itself becomes spectral. As the strange season unfolds, and Stokes meditates upon the meaning of life, death and literature, the power of the Shrike gradually takes centre-stage.
In this startling novella Quentin S. Crisp fuses delicacy with darkness and pathos with terror, creating a blend of Japanese and English literature that is as deeply moving as it is unique.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Quentin S. Crisp was born in 1972, in England. He grew up in the North Devon countryside, first in the sleepy coastal village of Combe Martin, then the decaying Victorian seaside resort of Ilfracombe. He showed interest in story-telling from an early age, dictating stories before he was able to write them. Perhaps he was encouraged in the idea of writing by seeing the books on dream analysis by his father lining the bookshelves. His own writing can be traced back in a direct line to the often shadowy imaginations of a dream-laden childhood; rather than analyzing dream he has dreamt in writing.
After failing his A-level examinations, he spent a period of five years unemployed. During this time he wrote lyrics and played bass as part of the unsigned band, The Dead Bell. He was also engaged in voluntary work as an actor and stage manager for Wolf and Water Arts Company. In 1996 he enrolled at the University of Durham, taking a bachelor's degree in Japanese Studies. It was here that he became more disciplined in completing the stories that he began. He graduated in the year 2000 with a first.
In 2001, while he was teaching English in Taiwan, his first collection, The Nightmare Exhibition, was published by BJM Press. Morbid Tales (Tartarus Press) and Rule Dementia! (Rainfall Books) followed in 2004 and 2005 respectively.
After researching Japanese literature on a scholarship at Kyoto University, he returned to Britain in 2003. He currently resides in Twickenham and has a low-paid job knocking on doors to promote environmental issues.