Great writers amaze me. Sometimes I finish a book like Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, which was my favorite book of last year, and I’m just speechless because I can’t imagine how anyone can come up with such amazing, lyrical language. I didn’t even write a blog post about Bone Gap because I knew I couldn’t do the novel justice. I’ve decided, however, that from now on I’m not going to let being intimidated by an awesome book stop me from writing about it. I think the way I have to look at it is that there have to be people like me to appreciate others’ work.
Anyway, on to the book that is currently amazing me: The Anatomy of Curiosity by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff. A couple of years ago I read their short story compilation, The Curiosities (see my review here), and while I don’t usually care for short stories, I really enjoyed this collection. What I liked even more than the fiction, though, was the fact that the writers spent a lot of time explaining their craft and commenting on their own stories, as well as each others’. This time out the trio presents three novellas, one by each of them. I liked Anatomy even more than their last outing. I absolutely adored Tessa Gratton’s story, “Desert Canticle”; it is beautifully written and manages to combine the themes of gender roles and equality with a story about a team of soldiers diffusing magical flower land mines in the desert. I also enjoyed Yovanoff’s selection, “Drowning Variations,” because she writes a story, is incredibly dissatisfied with it, and then reworks it. I think aspiring writers would really appreciate seeing Yovanoff take the bare bones of her story and rework it until it makes for a compelling read. I think my very favorite part of the book, though, is that the authors make notes in the margins of their novellas, which are really fun to read.