Apple and Knife

Apple and Knife

3.56 (408 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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**A The White Review Book of the Year**

A dazzling and provocative debut story collection from celebrated Indonesian writer Intan Paramaditha, putting fierce and fabulous female characters centre stage in brilliantly funny and sharp twists on fairy tale.

Inspired by horror fiction, myths and fairy tales, Apple and Knife is an unsettling ride that swerves into the supernatural to explore the dangers and power of occupying a female body in today's world.

These stories set in the Indonesian everyday - in corporate boardrooms, shanty towns, on dangdut stages - reveal a soupy otherworld stewing just beneath the surface. This is subversive feminist horror at its best, where men and women alike are arbiters of fear, and where revenge is sometimes sweetest when delivered from the grave.

Dark, humorous, and vividly realised, Apple and Knife brings together taboos, inversions, sex and death in a heady, intoxicating mix.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 138 x 204 x 22mm | 277g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1787301168
  • 9781787301160
  • 38,793

Review Text

Dark, subversive... Here are fairytales and myths reworked with a feminist bent, with plenty of blood, revenge and horror thrown in... A fun – if unsettling – collection.
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Review quote

A phantasmagorical collection of short stories and reimagined tales, not unlike Angela Carter and Carmen Maria Machado. -- Matthew Janney * Guardian * Sometimes disturbing, often humorous, but always unapologetically feminist... a deeply, brilliantly macabre, visceral collection which pulls very few punches. * BBC Radio 4 Open Book * Dark, subversive... Here are fairytales and myths reworked with a feminist bent, with plenty of blood, revenge and horror thrown in... A fun - if unsettling - collection. * Tatler * A sharply subversive feminist retread of fairy tales and myths. These darkly humorous, sometimes viscerally violent tales are inspired by horror stories, exploring taboos and the female body in the modern world. * i * These short stories are fiercely funny and feminist and mix the everyday with the supernatural. * Red * Apple and Knife delivers a short sharp suite of tales. It would be tempting to describe the volume as feminist horror, though undercurrents of violence and misogyny, myth and madness don't stop it smouldering with black comedy and flickering into moments of unexpected victory. The author throws us into the cauldron of contemporary Indonesia through an eclectic cast of characters - we encounter everyone from musicians to corporate high-flyers to witches. * Sydney Morning Herald * Catalogued here are powerful, disobedient women who misbehave, following their own desires over the dictates of society. These are women with swagger, and as such this is a collection for Lilith, not for Eve... Paramaditha's nimble work ducks and dives, weaving the campy, gothic, and visceral into the weft of societally-conditioned expectations of femininity in order to create warped tapestries of female deviance, going some way towards queer depictions of women in all their transforming, glitchy glory. * Strange Horizons * These stories are shockingly bold and macabrely funny, powerfully defamiliarising the cultural lore of patriarchy. What makes them special is their lack of interest in representing women as victims - here, the taboo of feminist anger is flagrantly and entertainingly broken. * The Saturday Paper (Australia) * Intan Paramaditha, who mixes fairy tales and gothic ghost stories with feminist and political issues, shakes up her readers, showing that her fiction is not beholden to a single interpretation. Her short stories reveal that the most terrifying thing in life is not one of the supernatural ghosts that populate her work, but human prejudice. As far as I'm concerned, only writers of genius are able to convey a layered and nuanced world, and Paramaditha is one of them. Intan Paramaditha has turned the fairy tale on its head. Instead of helpless maidens, these fables are bursting with fierce and fabulous females, determined to exact justice in an unjust world. As the enigmatic title suggests, the writing is juicy and incisive. Every story is a gem and, as with all good fairy tales, there are important lessons to be learned. Apple and Knife challenges contemporary national ideas about womanhood. All the stories in this book speak of distinctive aspects of women's lives, and peel off the myths surrounding them. * Mekong Review * The stories in Apple and Knife are raw, fun, excessive, and told with a wink, but they are underlaid with an unsettling awareness of the common fate of "disobedient women". * The Monthly *
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About Intan Paramaditha

Intan Paramaditha (Author)
Intan Paramaditha is an Indonesian writer now based in Sydney. She is the acclaimed author of two short story collections, Sihir Perempuan (2005) and Kumpulan Budak Setan (2010, with Eka Kurniawan and Ugoran Prasad), from which the stories in her first collection in English, Apple and Knife, are drawn. Her fiction has received awards in Indonesia, including the Kompas Best Short Story Award, Tempo Best Literary Fiction of the Year, and Khatulistiwa Literary Awards shortlist. She holds a PhD from New York University and teaches Media and Film Studies at Macquarie University. The Wandering is her debut novel.
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Rating details

408 ratings
3.56 out of 5 stars
5 9% (35)
4 47% (191)
3 37% (150)
2 8% (31)
1 0% (1)
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