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Emma lives in Northampton, England, with a pair of insane male ducks that she likes to pretend are parrots, wearing one on each shoulder. Her main interests are observing, writing, parading around with large ducks on her shoulders and drinking real ale — all at the same time.
Her main wish in life is for Northampton Town Football Club to actually win sometimes. Fingers crossed. The End.
on July 31, 2011 :
Emma Coleman's debut novelette is to be praised for its sharp economy. - The narrative is presented in short clipped fragments, shifting intermittently between passages of naturalistic dialogue, narrated from an uncertain or unspecified perspective, which serve to embed the protagonist and her responses to the unfolding narrative in an open and social context, and the alienated diary entries of the antagonist. Coleman uses this fragmentation and shifting play on form to foreground the novellete's central concern with the fear, anxiety and helplessness which can arise from our inability to ever fully communicate our feelings for, or relationships to others, or to interpret their true feelings for us, which is presented very well. The praiseworthy sparsity of authorial exposition to which the economy and form of 'Signals' gives rise obliges the reader to flesh out a great deal of the larger context of the narrative, and in this sense a lot is accomplished in a small space with few words. For this reason 'Signals' felt like it would also work well adapted as a short play. There is a subtle, wry and quite dark humour at times, evident in both the dialogue and in the treatment of the antagonist, which might be evidence of a slightly suppressed tendency to sardonic cynicism and sarcasm in the author. The only issue raised for this reviewer was how the antagonist actually acquired the means for his final act, which seemed to happen quite abruptly. That said, 'Signals' is to be praised for its play on form, its economy and the evidence it demonstrates of a capacity for cold, unflinching, darkly humorous character examination. Emma Coleman is a young writer hopefully at the beginning of a career which will see her focus on and develop these traits and produce a substantial body of work.
(reviewed the day of purchase)