❮BOOKS❯ ✵ Fen ✫ Author Daisy Johnson – Transportjobsite.co.uk

Fen summary Fen, series Fen, book Fen, pdf Fen, Fen 3c1e181831 Daisy Johnson S Fen Is A Liminal Land Real People Live Their Lives Here They Wrestle With Familiar Instincts, With Sex And Desire, With Everyday Routine But The Wild Is Always Close At Hand, Ready To Erupt This Is A Place Where Animals And People Commingle And Fuse, Where Curious Metamorphoses Take Place, Where Myth And Dark Magic Still Linger So Here A Teenager May Starve Herself Into The Shape Of An Eel A House Might Fall In Love With A Girl A Woman Might Give Birth To A Well What

10 thoughts on “Fen

  1. says:

    Remember about the albatrosses We got one on our trail now I didn t know what it was when I saw it It was too big to be anything real I keep thinking about them carrying dead sailors around them I am ashamed to say that I was completely ignorant of the existence of this book It wasn t included in any of the recommending reading lists I receive and I hadn t read any review of it on Goodreads I had the luck to become aware of it after a suggestion by the wonderful Jen Campbell in one of her lovely videos that contain treasure for the lovers of haunting fiction And I searched high and low until I found it And when I read it, I knew I was suddenly holding one of the best books I ve read this year.This is a collection of short stories by Daisy Johnson connected by the theme of desire, loss and the Otherness in every shape and form and the way we experience these notions particularly during our teenage and early adult years Here, we have a girl that transforms herself into an eel Three alluring female vampires are in trouble when they start acting like their unfortunate, highly edible victims A house comes alive out of jealousy and vindictiveness A young man returns to his wife The problem is that he was deadA sailor s pregnant wife reaches her limits surrounded by the fisherman s superstitions A mother with a strange and very familiar offspring who wishes to take unto himself the sins of the world Three siblings share a dark, twisted fate that would put the Lannister House to shame A woman reminisces on her life while waiting her blind date A lighthouse keeper is obsessed with a sea creature These are some of the stories included in this haunting collection My favourites are Starving, Blood Rites, Language, The Superstition of Albatross, A Heavy Devotion, The ScatteringMy first question was why Fen Why naming the book Fen What is the symbolism So, I did my homework and connected my limited knowledge on the subject to new information and everything made a lot sense I knew that Fensalir was the dwelling of Frigg, the Norse goddess of Wisdom and Foresight A domain of bogs, marshes and springs And, naturally, most of us know Fenrir, Loki s monstrous offspring that tries to exact revenge for its mistreatment And then, I discovered that the beautiful fen is associated with water and mists The Fens landscape, extending from Cambridge to Lincolnshire, is a marshland interrupted by tiny communities of fishermen It s a land steeped in legends and stories of the paranormal The Will o the Wisp, the Black Hound called the Black ShuckThink of The Hound of the Baskervilles and you ll get the picture herefore, Folk elements exist throughout the stories And fens are everywhere There is obsession, sexual passion, the notion of virginity, the desire to be different, the trouble of being a teenager The writing is exceptional Cryptic, poetic, haunting There is a distinct haziness, as if a mist is hovering over the stories, everything is blurry and grey The reader needs to read between the lines, see behind the sentences and try to decipher any conclusion that may be there And this is exactly the kind of quality that makes Fen such a mesmerizing, uniquely beautiful book It definitely reminded me of Jen Campbell s The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night but in a darker and much twisted, almost sinister, way.Is this a book for everyone No, it isn t It requires us to suspend all disbelief, to be attracted to bleak, twisted, dark choices But if you want to experience a unique way of writing and if you love short stories with characters that could easily be protagonists in their novels, then Fen is right there for you And, in my humble opinion, it s a masterpiece of the genre.My reviews can also be found on

  2. says:

    A collection of short stories as a literary debut which are really difficult to classify but are impressive They are set in the fens The fenlands cover parts of East Anglia, Cambridgeshire and southern Lincolnshire I am a Lincolnshire lad I wasn t born or brought up in the fens, but I know them fairly well One thing you do get a lot of in the fens is eels not quite as many as there used to be Coincidentally I went to a farmers market this morning and inevitably there were eels filleted and smoked, whole and smoked and jellied Although reading the first story in this collection may make you wary of eating any The fens are flat and can be bleak depending on the weather There is a sort of edgelessness to them because of the flatness and there is a real wildness Daisy Johnson herself uses the word liminal to describe the fens and the stories look the interview up on you tube You could describe the stories as surreal, but that wouldn t quite describe them They contain myth, a kind of wild magic and metamorphosis The wildlife of the fens plays a significant role eels and especially foxes, the lines between animals and people blur The protagonists are all women and there are interesting explorations of female sexuality, and women s relation to men The story about three women living together stands out in this respect they lure men back home not just for the usual reasons, but to eat them and the analysis of men is interesting When we were younger we learnt men the way other people learnt languages or the violin We did not care for their thoughts they could think on philosophy and literature and science if they wanted, they could grow opinions inside them if they wanted We did not care for their creed or religion or type for the choices they made and the ones they missed We cared only for what they wanted so much it ruined them Men could pretend they were otherwise, could enact the illusion of self control, but we knew the running stress of their minds The stories totally ditch the idea that the male gaze is what matters and Johnson can write pastoral gothic like no one else I have read she starts ominous and gets so These are modern stories and are unsentimental, as in How to Lose It Virginity was a half starved dog you were looking after, wanted to give away as quickly as possible so you could forget it ever existed It was the lingo of sales and stocks what was the best deal, when was the right time to sell it all And You do not shave your legs or pubic hair It is not a wedding night, nor a parade or a party or an invitation You are not a welcome mat Along with some sharp analysis You watch yourself pretend you ve never known anything in your life and never much felt the compulsion to You want to make him think you have no history or education that you might have had language once but it s gone now You want to make him think you re so scrubbed clean of any sort of intelligence that he can lay himself out on you and you ll soak him up The stories continue to surprise The first one Starver seems set up to be a standard teenage anorexia story when a girl announces she is going to stop eating, and does But metamorphosing into an eel is very much not part of the standard script And is there a link to the last story where a female lighthouse keeper encounters a fish that seems to have almost human qualities Look out in that one for the representations of male sexuality which wants to possess rather than enjoy There are touches of fairy story, myth and magic a house that falls in love, a woman made of fen clay reading Madame Bovary she would not tell him about being field than human On hot days she heard the internal crackings of her baked insides, felt the make up run from her clay skin , a young man who dies tracking a fox whose spirit may now be in the fox and look out for the one with the albatross not a bird you see on the fens which comes out of leftfield Then there is an earthiness about them as well, as in How to Fuck a Man you Don t Know When he says he likes your boobs or that your bottom is tight or that you re pretty fun aren t you, you tell him words are cheap enough to spit and push his face the place you want it to go These stories are inventive, well written and quite brilliant The writing and language sometimes seem to flatten like the landscape, there is much that is wild and other, but rooted in people we can recognize and places that are real People brought up in small towns may recognize these reflections from a fifteen year old girl There wasn t anything special about either of them except they thought they didn t belong there But didn t everybody, she d say while her friends leant back and watched the mudded thighs of the boys playing football on the school field, didn t everybody want to bloody leave We re boring It was the truth In a town where there was nothing to do they did well at doing nothing they had never gone further than the nearest city they had never done anything worth doing These stories will haunt you I already have her first novel, just published and on the Booker longlist.

  3. says:

    Daisy Johnson s first novel Everything Under was one of the highlights of this year s Man Booker longlist, so I was very keen to get hold of a copy of this collection of stories, which is also very accomplished for such a young writer.This collection is slippery, liminal and atmospheric, blending fairytale elements with the lives of real people and an earthy sexuality The most impressive and fully formed story is The Scattering, which is also the longest Its narrator is the younger sister of a warring pair of twins, one of whom tells her stories that match others in this collection Like those this one also involves an element of shapeshifting The fens are a constant brooding backdrop, and as in Everything Under the book is full of aquatic imagery.

  4. says:

    I came to this book, after reading Daisy Johnson s wonderful Everything Under a book I described, alliteratively as a literary novel of the liminal, language, leaving and legend, longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker prize Many reviews of that book have I feel concentrated on the legend part, an even within that legend part on the Greek legend whose plot underlies the novel and looking for other Greek parallels whereas I saw the other elements of equal importance and the legend part as drawing on a modern range of English countryside or perhaps accurately waterside legend.My thoughts lead me to this book the author s debut book, a short story collection Like Everything Under its main setting is the rivers, and land water boundaries of an area near an English ancient university but in this case of a light rather than dark blue hue.Having spent the first 17 years of my life in South West Norfolk, and following a brief Thames estuary break the next four years in Cambridge the foundational part of my life was spent in areas which bounded the Fens the eponymous district in which this collection is set, where water becomes land, and land can lie below water, and where the dark, earthy soil is heavy and fertile It is an area which has featured in Graham Swift s Waterland which while a very different book, has in common that the Fens themselves almost end up a character, and has a slight obsession with eels and is the historical setting for Paul Kingsnorth s wonderful The Wake.The distinctiveness of this collection is set from the first story what at first seems to be a tale of teenage anorexia turns into a story of land drainage and transformation into an eel and is followed by a story of men eating women who are then possessed by the men they eat and then by a jealous house, and later by a new mother who experiences the visitation of a sailor s superstition, and by a woman fashioned from the Fen earth and magical belief.Themes in this collection include transitions boundaries sexuality earth and mud water, rivers, boats and barges metamorphosis and shapeshifting legend, English folklore and ancient magic, grounded in the landscape language and the power of words Immediately the inspiration and ground work should that be water and earth work for Everything Under is apparent and this collection serves both as a fascinating book in its own right, as well as a great way to understand Daisy Johnson s interests as a writer.

  5. says:

    I read Fen on the back of the 2018 Booker shortlisted Everything Under Fen was written some two years previously Its a collection of short stories, and had received praise from a relatively small number of readers.The stories are in many ways striking than the better known Everything Under, and this is in part the nature of short stories that cannot meander Sarah Hall s term for the forgiving nature of longer novels.Daisy Johnson doesn t meander here the majority of the stories are striking and shocking, and certainly mystical Daisy Johnson has a fertile imagination, and a dark side it would appear My favourite line is taken from How To F K A Man You Don t Know Talking about Iraq and the Booker shortlist. You think this makes him knowing and intellectual 60.I heard Daisy Johnson talking at Waterstones, Covent Garden, in September 2018 newly Booker shortlisted I was surprised how much of the conversation came back to Fen, rather than the illustrious Everything Under.In conversation Fen came out of her University Masters work Somerville College, Oxford University Fen introduces the pub Fox and the Hounds Daisy had read how Anthony Horowitz gets bored and plays little games with the text storylines in his books Daisy s choice was a pub this is a fictitious pub This pub appears, subsequently, in Everything Under Fen as a female perspective on life Daisy said it was in part a reaction to feeling angry as a teenager because there were not enough female characters Daisy cited Sarah Hall a big influence I will stop writing about female characters when you stop asking me about female characters The first story Starver features a girl who metamorphoses into an eel Daisy has been asked, is this a literal transformation, or is this a metaphor Her answer Either both it s what you, the reader, want it to be I asked Daisy a direct question about a bit I was puzzled by in Everything Under, and she gave me a similar, ambiguous answer I think this is a sensible, and intelligent, way of dealing with the ranks of amateur sleuths and book critics But not having a definitive answer it keeps the books alive, debate continues it s not an entity with a cut and dried answer like life itself.

  6. says:

    It is going to be very difficult to knock this off the spot of best book of the year for me I have always enjoyed books set around harsh landscapes am I the only person to find Wuthering Heights a cosy novel and that is part of what this book is, set on the flat english Fenlands, is It also appeals to the small town village girl in me The writing is beautiful, and made the elements of magic injected into most of the stories completely plausible, as well as being magical each was so human Reading this was a joy, I had to stop reading to save some for the next evening My particular favourites were How to Fuck a Man You Don t Know and Language Each story I read I found myself cursing my imagination for not coming up with such simple and natural ideas for myself I perceive Language Starver A Bruise the Shape and Size of a Door Handle and A Heavy Devotion as mythical fairytales and know I shall repeatedly re read them as such Not to mention this book is so bloody beautiful on the outside too.

  7. says:

    I listened to this on Lavar Burton reads ReadingRainbowforAdults

  8. says:

    It is a debut collection by a loosely related short stories They are all set in the east part of England with its plains, canals, river estuaries and pylons distorting the horizontality of the place Miss Johnston s artistic treatment of the area, her imagination transforms it into weary dark, atmospheric setting This is the place were young girls are coming of age or becoming mothers without having the time to grow The border between people and animals are fluid as well And one cannot easily escape This sense of place is very strong feature of this collection.The overwhelming feeling i had reading it as if i digested a bunch of psychedelic mushrooms which i actually never tried so cannot compare and going through a series of weird and often unpleasant dreams Her writing is very imaginative All her sentences work perfectly But the ideas and symbols of the stories are starting to repeat themselves, especially at the second part of the collection And while she is very good describing the feelings of adolescent girls, she is a bit out of her depth when it comes to mothers, babies and the profound transformation of motherhood I would not blame her for that as she is still young, but for me it was very noticeable Men in these stories are a little than the decorations, it seems And in one stories they are literally used for food.Two stories which stood out for me were A bruise the Shape and Size of a Door Handle where the house appeared to be jealous of the first love of the girl living in it and The Superstition of Albatross about waiting without hope Another story worth noting is Starver which is about a girl with anorexia and her sister The story conveys the powerlessness of anyone to help her and it is deeply moving However, I ve seen very similar symbolism in The Vegetarian by Hang Kan And there, it is beautifully crafted and explored.Overall, it is a promising writer and a worthwhile debut collection Her writing is very atmospheric and imaginative However, I hope her next work is profound and diverse in terms of content.

  9. says:

    Daisy Johnson s debut short story collection Fen is a delightful magical collection set in the grassy marshes, forested swamps, and peaty bogs and of the Fen Mixing reality with folklore, it s beautiful and lyrical, conjuring an atmospheric setting that leaves you with a strange, eerie feeling in your chest as you read on Perfect for anyone who loves their short stories with a dash of strange and the peculiar.Story ratings 1 Starver 2 Blood Rites 3 A Bruise the Shape and Size of a Door Handle 4 How to Lose It 5 How to Fuck a Man you Don t Know 6 Language Favourite story 7 The Superstition of Albatross 8 A Heavy Devotion 9 The Scattering 10 Birthing Stones 11 The Cull 12 The Lighthouse Keeper

  10. says:

    Some nice writing, but this was unfortunately another letdown for me though if magical realism is your thing you might find some stories to enjoy here For me the stories ended up being pretty repetitive, with protagonists which became interchangeable as the collection went on Like some other reviewers have mentioned, I feel like this could have been enjoyable if there were fewer stories but they were fleshed out, as a few of them definitely had potential.

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