"If a man paints
a picture of a beefsteak on a plate very few people will ask,
'Who bought that beefsteak? at what shop? And what did he pay?' Those
questions are made unnecessary by the skillful rendering of the lush
marbled with fat, the light glancing off the white porcelain plate--
I would like
the fact of a good sentence to carry similar weight."
Alison Bundy was born in 1959 and grew up in Maine. She has an MFA
from Brown University and has worked both as a teacher and a plumber.
Her prose has appeared in journals like Ploughshares, Sulfur, Nimrod.
Her first collection of stories, A Bad Business, was published
by Lost Roads in 1985. Tale of a Good Cook was a Paradigm chapbook
"The dunces Bundy creates resemble ourselves, with our unexplainable
obsessions, our willful blindness to reality, our blunderings and
embarrassments.... There's a sinister quality to Bundy's humor, a
distance that elevates banal events and people to mysterious and often
satirical proportions .... all are sudden fictions that strike with
barbed wit and clemency."
--Kelly Everding, Rain Taxi
"A truly epigrammatic prose can be difficult
to pull off in English. The thirty-one
fictions['] ... economy is at once playful and finely controlled,
suggestive ... Bundy is at her best tracing the persistence of desire
mournful wit reminiscent of the best work of Lydia Davis .... The
real virtues of
DunceCap, though, are formal. It reads like the contents of a
box-each item oddly wrought in a new way, with a philosophic modesty
rare in self-conscious 'play."'
--Brian Lennon, Review of Contemporary Fiction
"Fairy tales are called to mind when reading Bundy's wonderful
pieces are minimalist narratives that must be trusted by the reader,
fairy tales are trusted. And like fairy tales they are antidotes to
and monstrous fictions of John Updike, Thomas Pynchon, Philip Roth
Hegi. Instead of closing off the imagination of the reader, Bundy
reader into the narrative so that the imagination is stimulated, enhanced,
into play as part of the narrative. The stories bring to mind words
'wonder' and 'magic.' An outstanding piece of work."
--Dallas Wiebe, Sulfur
"A book of capricious vignettes, of delicate ironies wrought
fine, like porcelain
figurines of intoxicating curiousness"