We know the hallmarks of Southern Gothic, but what about New England? Often we get the “spooky” bits of New England: Lovecraft, Salem, Puritans, but that’s not the full scope of New England Gothic.
As a life-long resident of the damp and dark North, allow me to shed some weak Winter light on our Gothic trademarks:
- dying mill towns
- crumbling churches
- perpetual piles of ugly melting ice
- yards full of dead and dying gardens
- muddy towns bordered by scrubby woods and rocky farms
- emotionally repressed spinster sisters
- libraries that consist of nothing but Lives of the Saints and fairy tales
Poor Deer is overflowing with Gothic New England Energy, much like the flooded mud plain of tiny elementary school where our broken fairy tale hatches and shambles forward.
The kind of book that makes you stay up way too late, as you are truly unable to put it down and walk away. If a Neko Case song sprang to life, it would be Poor Deer. I’m specifically thinking of “Margaret vs. Pauline”, but the entire Fox Confessor Brings the Flood album fits the bill here.
I am struggling with putting my adoration for this book into words, as Claire Oshetsky has already said everything that I could ever want to say- and put it into the sort of language that I could only pray to one day write.