The Mermaid Quilt & Other Tales

Rated 5.00/5 based on 1 reviews
A mermaid argues with a scholar. Two young girls purchase a carved mermaid at a garage sale. A mermaid finds respite in a tree. A cowboy falls in love with the last mermaid, and we discover what mermaids like to eat. From the Arctic to Mexico, Scotland, Russia, Brazil, and the suburban United States, these 8 short stories and 10 poems celebrate the culture of mermaids. More

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Words: 19,870
Language: English
ISBN: 9781301370092
About Beth Camp

Egypt. Turkey. Scotland. Brazil. My fiction reflects a love of world culture and international travel, whether I'm writing short stories, thrillers, or historical fiction.

Before beginning my writing career, I worked as an international banker, a social policy analyst, an English teacher -- and a number of jobs (ER admitting clerk, hospital lab assistant, writing tutor) on my way through college.

Once I began teaching, those summer vacations meant travel began in earnest -- first to Mexico and Guatemala. Then, a sabbatical to Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, and England, with a month in each country. Unforgettable.

My first book, Mother's Don't Die, a thriller about a kidnapping, now sits in a drawer. My second book began as a short story about selkies off the coast of Scotland and morphed into Standing Stones, historical fiction about a fishing family living in the Orkney Islands, who were kicked out of their cottage by Lord Gordon, the new landowner. Mac McDonnell, arrested for protesting evictions all over the island, is transported to Van Diemen's Land. Thus begins Years of Stone which follows Mac in mid-19th Century Tasmania.

Standing Stones also won second place in historical fiction (2010) at the Pacific Northwest Writers literary contest. I'm currently revising the third book in the series, Rivers of Stone, set in the 1840s in the Pacific Northwest. In this story, Catriona follows one of the McDonnell brothers to Canada -- disguised as a boy.

Readers, enjoy! Writers, write on!

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Review by: PJ O'Brien on Aug. 05, 2014 :
This short collection by Beth Camp includes the expected mermaids, but also introduces mythic sea women that aren't as familiar. I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that those dependent upon seas and waterways for their livelihood, yet often endangered by them, would have similar themes in their lore. These themes are well represented in The Mermaid Quilt & Other Tales. There is fear, wonder, desperation, and occasionally playful joy. But despite some similarity in themes, the stories are told from a variety of perspectives, with each tale set in a different place and time, and evocative of the culture it represents.

In one of those serendipitous turns of life, I found myself reading most of these little stories by bodies of water. I don’t know if it was the cry of gulls or the reverie that I was lulled into by wind and waves, but I found myself very drawn into each of the myriad settings of a mythical water-dwelling woman and her interactions with humans. The stories read fast, but have some thoughtful, even dreamy, tones that are just perfect for firing one’s imagination when sitting by a quiet lake or walking along the shore at dawn. It led me to muse what the sea-woman of my mind might be like if I took all of my thoughts and memories of the ocean, merged them with my feelings about death and life, and gave it a human-looking face on an amphibious body?
(reviewed 30 days after purchase)

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