A taster of ‘Glimmerglass’

Glimmerglass, a novel by Marly Youmans

Due this Autumn from Mercer University Press

Cover artwork and chapter headings by Clive Hicks-Jenkins. Cover design by Mary-Frances Burt of Burt&Burt

“You might not know what you are seeking, but once inside the pages of Glimmerglass, you’ll find exactly what you need: ‘a cup of music, a hill of sea.’ In the Republic of Letters. Marly Youmans is our Magician in Chief.”

John Wilson, editor of Books & Culture

Glimmerglass is a series of mirrors and panes that splinter and soften to let you fall deeper into the heart of myth and artistic desire. A resonant, beautiful exploration of fragile hopes and the courage that comes from resisting their trampling by others.”

Margo Lanagan, author of Sea Hearts, Black Juice and other novels, winner of Worls Fantasy and Pritz awards

“I know of no writer other than Marly Youmans who has the genius to combine the spine-tingling suspense of Gothic storytelling with the immense charm, grace, glamour, realism, and simplicity of Hawthorne. Youmans, one of the biggest secrets of contemporary American fiction, writes with freshness and beauty. Whether she’s writing historical fiction or fantasy, her characters leave one breathless. Her ability to describe a person, a place, or the psychological underpinnings of a plot or individual, ranks with the great novelists, the highest literature. A tale of love and intrigue, mystery and pathology, Glimmerglass’ appeal is the warmth and charge of a tale told round a fire fused by Hitchcockian anxiety, empathy, and relief. Nature, architecture, dread, thrill, sexual dilemma, and murder echo against Youmans’ gorgeous prose and terrifying romance, which glides like a serpent―without a single extraneous or boring word. Youmans is my favorite storyteller. I come back to her as if to a holy well.”

Jeffery Beam, award-winning author of The Broken Flower, Gospel Earth and many other poetry collections

9 thoughts on “A taster of ‘Glimmerglass’

    • I must confess that I love the little owl. When I started out on him, he kept on eluding me. I’d made sheets and sheets of black-acrylic-daubed paper, and rendered the lot into cut bits that I hoped would yield what I’d need, all to no effect. The waste-paper bin next to my desk was spilling over with failed attempts. I started again. I made more collage papers, cut and shifted about tiny bits of them all afternoon, and to absolutely no effect. Oh, I had owls alright, just not the one in my head. I made some kind of drastic, last ditch elimination or adjustment, slicing away with a scalpel in the sure knowledge that I was about to give up, and suddenly there he was. Perfect in shape, patterning, character and expression. He’d arrived in an instant, coalescing out of scraps and discards. Lightning-in-a-bottle! I hardly dared breathe for fear I’d shift the collage scraps before I’d pasted them down. That something so tiny should have caused so much fuss!

      I look at him now, so confident, right and effortless, and can’t imagine why he didn’t just come to me immediately. But no, like a Diva he kept me waiting.

      Glimmerglass is the loveliest book. It was a joy to work on. I read my manuscript over and over while I was making the cover and chapter-head images. Marly is a magician conjuring wonders. I’d sometimes get to the end of a passage and think, ‘How on earth did she do that?’

    • I love the way the designers have been generous with the chapter-heading, both in terms of the scale the image has been reproduced at, and the amount of space around it. Nothing cramped or mean. I find it such a relief when an image is given the room to ‘breathe’.

      Great call by Burt&Burt.

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