Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kendall, The Bride Stripped Bare (2009)

Rachel Kendall, The Bride Stripped Bare. Doghorn Publishing, 2009. Pp. 114. ISBN 9781907133046. £9.99.

Reviewed by N.A. Jackson

I imagine the author of these stories composing these tiny, incisive works of fiction as if she were setting up one of those miniature theatres, made of paper, in which the characters are poked onto the stage to perform their predetermined roles. With the sweetest of smiles, Kendall will begin to make them suffer. Taking its title from a 1923 art work by Marcel Duchamp: ‘The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even’, this collection sets out to replicate Duchamp’s project of depicting the erotic relationship between men and women. Kendall’s perspective, however, is entirely of the 21st century. Although the stories are played out in the real world, this is life stripped of the comforting veneer of civilization.