The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Amelia Gray Grabs Us With Threats And A Moped

By Maggie Hellwig in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 29, 2012 6:00PM

Image Via Publisher's Site.
The Whistler is hosting a book release party with Featherproof Books on Monday, April 2 at 7 p.m. The author we're interested in is Miss Amelia Gray and her new book, Threats. The novel is morbid, darkly humorous, an obscure tale of mystery, and most importantly a large maze of psychological disorientation.

The main character, David, has lost his job and found his wife dead. Not only is she deceased, but it appears that she was violently murdered. David begins to lose his mind as a result. There are several other characters who come and go, but the vast majority of the book consists of David: on his lonesome and driving himself up the wall. He begins to find scraps of paper with nasty, absurd, and almost comical admonitions written on them. "I WILL CROSS-STITCH AN IMAGE OF YOUR FUTURE HOME BURNING. I WILL HANG THIS IMAGE OVER YOUR BED WHILE YOU SLEEP," is just one example of the many threats that David comes across.

NPR writes that the book is not to be read for its plot, as there is very little of it, but for the feeling. Gray wrote an artistic assembly of chapters about grief and shock; they are often out of order and concocted to make your spine tingle rather than your brain tick. The Huffington Post loves it for its unusual who-done-it scenario, stating that it "borders on the avante garde." The prose, not to mention the interesting cover, seems to have caught their eye.

What's alluring to us is all of the above, but also Gray herself. She seems to like creating works that are abstract, full of meaning, and never contain a dull moment. She's also published two collections of short stories: AM/PM and Museum of the Weird. Not many authors who have been published by small and mighty presses have received national recognition. Not to mention that very few would sit on the back of a moped in Hollywood and read threatening passages of their book. She's new, she's talented, and we'll be reading along with her progress.

Amelia Gray :: MOPED :: NO PERCH Reading Series from No Perch on Vimeo.