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Echolocation Paperback – 6 Mar 2012


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Myfanwy Collins was born in Montreal, Canada, grew up in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, and now lives on the North Shore of Massachusetts with her husband and son. Her work has been published in The Kenyon Review, AGNI, Cream City Review, Quick Fiction, and Potomac Review. ECHOLOCATION, her debut novel, is forthcoming from Engine Books in March 2012. A collection of her short fiction, I AM HOLDING YOUR HAND, is forthcoming from PANK Little Books in August 2012.

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Amazon.com: 16 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Literary Fiction at its Finest 24 Feb 2012
By Katrina Denza - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Be prepared. Haunting, mesmerizing, "Echolocation" is a page-turner you will not be able to put down until you've reached the end. It's the story of four women connected by family and the bleak, harsh, land of northern New York. Some have escaped, but they're all brought together again by tragedy and secrets they thought they'd left behind. There's Auntie Marie, dying of cancer, the two girls she raised, Geneva and Cheri, and Renee, Cheri's mother, who ran away to Florida not long after Cheri was born. Cheri returns to help Geneva with their aunt, and Renee shows up unexpectedly with a secret that will change them all.

The characters in "Echolocation," men and women alike, are flawed in the best, most fascinating, ways, and though they make mistakes, they are not beyond redemption, not beyond our empathy. Collins clearly loves her characters, weaknesses and all, and that authorial love elicits a similar compassion from the reader. These four women are fierce. Auntie Marie's devotion to Cheri and Geneva is as strong as her devotion to God; Cheri is determined in her self-destructive desire to deny her feelings; Geneva's strength in carrying on with life after a devastating accident is remarkable; and Renee finally discovers she's capable of caring for another more than herself.

This is a complex story, told with an assured, deft hand. Collins is a master at weaving story lines together in an artful, spare way. Every word is well-chosen. Every nuance is perfectly placed. "Echolocation" is literary fiction at its finest.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Perfect Little Book 19 Feb 2012
By Sara Habein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Echolocation is a perfect little book about reality hitting hard. It's about necessary roughness and begrudging tenderness, and it swallows one up while reading. I certainly look forward to experiencing more of Myfanwy Collins' work.

The writing has a very serene quality to it, even when terrible things are happening. The chilly, Northern scenery is nearly its own character, with the pine scent in the air to the absence of power on stormy nights. I can see it -- though it is perhaps colored with my Montana-version of Canadian border wilderness. Inside the store and Marie's home have other personal-yet-personally-familiar details, with memories of past holidays and the proper way to cut a sandwich. These women may feel incredibly screwed up most of the time, but they have their own way of forging on. Everything in this slim book serves a purpose, and that purpose sneaks up at the end in such a way that I have to admire Collins' skills. The details are at once circular, woven, and carved like puzzle-pieces, everything straddling the line between inevitability and choice. I highly recommend this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Lyrical prose with gritty characters and a gut punch story 13 Dec 2013
By Len Joy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Even though I know I should know better, I have an expectation (prejudice?) that if a book is labeled “LITERARY” it’s going to be slow-paced, introspective and probably have characters that are graduate students or tortured artists.

Echolocation grabbed me right from the opening scene. It is fast-paced and the underclass cast of characters are very very real. I’m pretty sure none of them have been to grad school.

This story reminded me in some respects of the film “Winter Bone” with its hardscrabble characters. It would make a great film. But read the book first because it’s beautifully written.

This book has been well reviewed on Amazon. I liked Kathy Fish’s observation that the prose is lyrical while the story is gritty and honest.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Gorgeous Writing, Haunting Characters 8 Oct 2013
By L. Young - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Myfanwy Collins writes like an angel with a devastating left hook. "Echolocation" knocked me out but good -- dreamy, deceptively gentle prose infused with grit will pull you in from the first page, make you feel a bit unsure, unsteady, but in a good way (think Alice Hoffman with a dash of Charles Bukowski), then POW, you're down for the count and loving every minute of it.

Yes, I used a boxing metaphor. I can if I want!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Place Defines Character 29 Aug 2013
By Nan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The setting in this evocative novel becomes a character. Not only does it establish a backdrop for the action; we get to know each character by the way she/he interacts with it. This story could not take place anywhere else. The cold, eerie starkness reflects the haunting plot while it also grounds the action. These characters, especially the women, are products of this environment. They in turn embrace it then allow it to help define them: strong, sometimes fierce, yet beautiful, they and their story are remarkable achievements.
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