Author: Claire Napier

The Crow Girl: Kindness in an Unexpected Form

The Crow Girl Erik Axl Sund Harvill Secker, 2016 Erik Axl Sund is the author of this book, but he is a composite creature. Jerker Eriksson and Håkan Axlander Sundquist are lifelong friends and collaborators elsewhere–in music, in the art world, etc. To write with a peer can produce popular work (see Good Omens, for example), but without fail it will produce a question: Which bit is whose, then? Choosing to publish under one portmanteau de plume allows the book to be a book and not a project, not a novelty. One whole thing, the product of synergy. As...

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Books That Made Us Cry Laughing in Public

Claire: In the summer of 2001 my family visited North America. We saw relatives in Connecticut (which tickled me; I kept an eye out for signage toward Stonybrooke), went to Boston (Heinz’ beans are better), New York (very tall), Martha’s Vineyard (horseshoe crabs? AWFUL), and up on some kind of hell train to Niagara Falls. I was fourteen, and that’s a lot of travelling, so my parents bought me books. I first read The Princess Diaries on that trip, which was a love story that lasted, but more relevant to this conversation I also found myself holding Angus, Thongs,...

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Commercialised Suffering Is Easy: Lemaitre’s Irene

Irène is crass, coarse, and shallow. Pierre Lemaitre’s novel is like the work of Jo Nesbø, in this way. Preoccupied with torture and awfulness, reluctant to engage with humanity or emotion beyond the ways that happiness can be revoked or twisted; used to make a person miserable; and underbaked as progressing narratives, these author, in my opinion, write lazy books undeserving of their popularity and acclaim. Both Nesbø and Lemaitre describe their scenes of pain and carnage in unexpressive terms (perhaps it’s correct to allow that, in my experience, their translators do). A head will be cut off and...

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Say Goodbye to Your Childhood: A Fandom Unbinding Spell

I’m a Slytherin. I cut my communicative teeth on Harry Potter. In year ten I read Goblet of Fire so much the cover just…went away somehow. My ears perk up when somebody says “Draco Trilogy;” I have to manually smooth them down. Harry Potter fandom was my community, and Hogwarts was my home away from home. I say “was.” Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows dropped seven years ago, and that’s as long as Harry spent in school (longer, actually, but you get me). I read it in two gulps and then I told the entire story to my...

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Blood and Glitter: A Book of Art, Perspective, and Choices

“I don’t go into a session intending to make any kind of statement. I’m looking for the mysterious, how to explore the unique enigma of the situation. I think photography is as much about concealing as it is about revealing. The resolution lies in the art of freezing. The thrill is to seize the magic moment.” –Mick Rock, 1981 Don’t you think that’s the perfect way to think about comic panel composition? Fuck cinematic. Photographic is the word. “What’s happening in this scene?” is a question that tricks the viewer-creative gaze into focusing on the progression of their understanding of...

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