Lilli Carré’s short stories are dreamy, unlikely, and unsettling. In them, characters chase bats around the house, or see their apartments fill with water, or watch the borders of their very world close in on them. In “The Thing About Madeline,” the best story in her new collection, Heads or Tails, a customer-service representative discovers her own doppelganger sitting at her desk, and winds up following herself around town, peeping through windows, a stranger to her friends and herself. Eventually she moves to another city and starts a new life, leaving the old Madeline behind—but now someone’s outside her window, looking in.
What transforms the stories from nightmares to fables is Carré’s artwork, which varies with each story—some are penciled in lush black and white, others angular and collage-like—but always retains an intricate beauty that gives each story a timeless quality. We’re very excited to have Lilli Carré illustrating the November issue of the Slate Book Review.
Heads or Tails by Lilli Carré. Fantagraphics.