Shape-shifter Shape-Shifter , an exquisite first collection of stories by a Guyanese actress who lives in London, an English girl with a terror of infinity collapses… Shape-shifter Shape-Shifter , an exquisite first collection of stories by a Guyanese actress who lives in London, an English girl with a terror of infinity collapses… Fiction Short Stories Pantheon
Book Review

Shape-Shifter (1991)

EW's GRADE
A

Details Writer: Pauline Melville; Genres: Fiction, Short Stories; Publisher: Pantheon

Shape-Shifter, an exquisite first collection of stories by a Guyanese actress who lives in London, an English girl with a terror of infinity collapses into a black hole that appears in her knee, a cabaret performer invents a sinister persona that comes to life and assaults her, and a Guyanese plays on the superstitions of his country's vice president to land a new job. Pauline Melville writes like Jamaica Kincaid on acid; her characters navigate the psychological zones between native and foreign lands, and Melville's imagination invents a world where the back door of a London flat magically opens onto a backyard in Jamaica and a woman's talking vagina insults her husband. These are streetwise folktales ribboned with magic realism and peopled by iron-willed women. A

Originally posted Oct 04, 1991 Published in issue #86 Oct 04, 1991 Order article reprints