Dolls, sewing machines, tinned foods, mirrors, malfunctioning bodies—by constantly reinventing ways to engage with her obsessions and motifs, Camilla Grudova has built a universe that’s highly imaginative, incredibly original, and absolutely discomfiting. The stories in The Doll’s Alphabet are by turns childlike and naive, grotesque and very dark: the marriage of Margaret Atwood and Angela Carter.
“If fairytales could dream, this nightmarish collection is what you might end up with… Grudova very efficiently spins us into her weird web.” —Times Literary Supplement
“That I cannot say what all these stories are about is a testament to their worth. They have been haunting me for days now. They have their own, highly distinct flavour, and the inevitability of uncomfortable dreams.” —The Guardian
“Grudova’s style is an exotic cocktail: three parts magic realism, two parts dystopian, and a splash of extreme feminism. However, there is a playful intelligence driving these weird stories and a real talent that can’t be dismissed — even when she seems most eccentric.” —Daily Mail
“This doll’s eye view is a total delight and surveys a world awash with shadowy wit and exquisite collisions of beauty and the grotesque.” —Helen Oyeyemi, author of Boy, Snow, Bird
“Down to its most particular details, The Doll’s Alphabet creates an individual world—a landscape I have never encountered before, which now feels like it was waiting to be captured, and waiting to captivate, all along.” —Sheila Heti, author of How Should a Person Be?
“Marvellous. Grudova understands that the best writing has to pull off the hardest aesthetic trick—it has to be both memorable and fleeting.” —Deborah Levy, author of Hot Milk
“The stories included in [Grudova’s] debut collection [The] Doll’s Alphabet are at once macabre and wondrous. . . . Grudova’s imagination is among the most potent to emerge in literature in recent memory.” —Entropy
“Beginning with a tale of ‘unstitching,’ the ambitious short stories in The Doll’s Alphabet play out like dreams in which recurring obsessions stitch themselves into the narrative at a bizarre and unsettling cost. . . . Just when we feel we have escaped the familiar for the fantastical, an event or a detail pulls us back. The resulting picture is one of a society determined by structures as opaque and incredulous as our own.” —TANK
“Grudova’s prose is both elegant and nonchalant, offering horrific imagery as if nothing were untoward, and a feminist subtext colours almost every story.” —Buzz Mag