Finalist for the 2011 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize
Illustrated with B&W plates by Susan Bee
Suppose fiction is a mansion of mirrors where narrative, setting and plot are characters, and suppose this castle is haunted by Martians constantly rearranging, reversing and transElating its furniture of myths, fables and nursery rhymes. Let’s play space-wars, say the Martians, it’s just a game—our guns shoot words. You zap a Martian. She disappears, but it turns out this Martian is a master chef who even created a recipe for life. How are you going to get the recipe back?—to rebuild her carnival laboratory?
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Praise for Recipes from the Red Planet:
“Near the end of these wry and witty pages we are told of someone from Ontario, and the same page asks, Where is Ontario from? The same could be asked of From the Red Planet, or Quartermain’s ingredients: her lists, her seemingly endless strings of relations made tastier by the weight of form, be they tales, news reports, voice imitations. Metaphysics, local history, classics, astronomy—the reference range is vast, but so is the contemporary experience. A rising crust!” —Michael Turner
“Recipes from the Red Planet cooks books for deep-space dining, rolls out the dough of language and shapes it into buttery crescents that are supernaturally textured and interactive with daily life. Meredith Quartermain’s solar system blows asteroid dust through the patriarchy and oven roasts the alphabet to a lovely golden crisp. Whipped by interplanetary winds we meet the immortals of the ancient world inverted and propelled into negative space. Their ground delineates our figures, neatly attired in dresses we’ve sewn ourselves from Simplicity patterns. Here are the recipes that will free Rapunzel from her tower. Here are all the blue radishes you can eat.” —Larissa Lai
“These stories simply delighted me. Their broken turns of logic and semantics are lovely and reflect, somehow, the way I think. To read and reread.” —Erín Moure, Attention Span (Third Factory)
Meredith Quartermain was born in Toronto but grew up elsewhere in Ontario and in rural British Columbia. At UBC she was intrigued by the poetry of Jack Spicer and Robert Duncan. She also delved into Biology, Latin, Math, Philosophy and Linguistics. For a while she practiced law. She is the author of several books of poetry including Matter, Nightmarker (finalist for the Vancouver Book Award) and Vancouver Walking (winner of a BC Book Award). She runs Nomados Literary Publishers with husband Peter Quartermain.