Skye Wentworth introduces an extract from Phoebe Reeves' The Revenant. Andrew Gallix interviews the author.
THE REVENANT: A REVIEWby Skye Wentworth
In this issue, we focus on Phoebe Reeves' first novel, The Revenant, which was nominated for the prestigious 1999 Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel, alongside best-selling works by Stephen King and Dean Koontz - a remarkable achievement for an independent book press.
Phoebe Reeves is considered as a magic realist writer. Her short story "The Crossing" was published online in SF Goth's Errata Magazine (October 1999). Her novella-ization of the Outer Limits teleplay "The Quality of Mercy" for Outer Limits 3, published by Prima, was nominated for the 1997 Horror Writers Association Best Long Fiction award. Her cyber short stories, "Eyes Like Stars" and "Too Beautiful For You" were published in Midnight Zoo magazine and Midnight Zoo's 1994 anthology respectively. She also adapted and directed "Eyes Like Stars" as a radio play on Shoestring Radio Theater in San Francisco. She has also written and delivered weekly film reviews on Movie Magazine, a nationally syndicated radio show broadcast out of San Francisco.
Her multicultural critical reading, thinking, and writing textbook What's The Big Idea? Writing Through Reading and Thinking was published by Prentice Hall in July 1998. In July 1999, Prentice Hall also published her second writing text, a cyber-culture anthology of Internet and book
published readings from around the world called Turning The Century: A Bits and Bytes Reader for Developing Writers.
Phoebe is the director of YouthBuild San Antonio at the George Gervin Youth Center in San Antonio, Texas. Previously, she taught writing at the University of San Francisco and City College of San Francisco. Prior to that position, she taught creative and non fiction writing over the past eleven years at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and at Leeward and Kauai Community Colleges in Hawaii. She received her MA in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and her BA in English from Tufts University.
Born of her passion for dreams and nightmares, The Revenant is her first novel.
The Revenant is a magical realist story of creation and death, about a woman's search for identity and transformation. With all the markings of a psychological thriller, author Phoebe Reeves gives us a rare look at a young woman's confrontation with the unknown - both living and dead.
Nenut Kite, an amateur artist born of a Nubian father and a Caucasian American mother, has never lived comfortably among the living. Nenut was raised in prison from the age of 10 through 18 and her father has never forgiven her for her mother's death. Now at 25, consumed by the image and sensation of holding her mother's burning skull in her hands, Nenut sculpts glass and stone monuments - invocations to the dead - in the hope that "They" will convince her mother's ghost to talk to her.
Written in savage and striking imagery, reminiscent of Kahlo, a fantastical journey begins. Via funerals, across culture, across times, Nenut tries to piece together a puzzle of her identity - before a disease that is literally turning her into stone kills her.
The following extract (reprinted here with the author's kind permission) is taken from Chapter One of The Revenant. Here, the reader meets Sofia (Nenut) Kite and her mysterious world - as she seeks to atone for her mother's murder.
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