Pierre Furlan

Bluebeard's Workshop and other stories

ISBN: 9780864735546

Bluebeard’s Workshop is a cycle of witty and provocative stories about the games people play and the tales they tell.

Three stories were written and are set in New Zealand, and provide fresh and unnerving perspectives on local life.

Praise for Bluebeard's Workshop

In Bluebeard's Workshop,  Paekakariki, Wellington harbour and Dunedin rub shoulders with Porte d'Orleans, Arles, Langres.  It is refreshing to encounter a writer for whom communication is valued as much for its aesthetic qualities as its utility; this surely is a sign of good literature. Bluebeard's Workshop shows that a writer's perspective can sometimes be as good as a holiday.
Luke Strongman DOMINION POST

This book is a wonderful collection of stories about the games we play and the tales we tell.

He is a great observer of character and human nature, and a beautiful craftsman of his material.
Laura Keddell THE PRESS

Furlan’s characters range from scientific researchers to translators, from boxers to writers, but all are, as fictional characters tend to be, on the brink of finding an answer to some emotional confusion. This is a strong situation for short stories to be structured around, and in the case of Furlan’s work, is dealt with in such a variety of ways that it doesn’t become too stale. My favourite story of the collection, ‘Paekakariki’, is addressed, in the second person, to the narrator’s dead father – a mode of narration which could go horribly wrong. Fortunately Furlan’s decision to mediate the narrator’s memories through the vividly rendered setting gives the story a tone of quiet preoccupation rather than simply bitter nostalgia. The weight of the subject is substantial but never allowed to lapse into cliché, which could well be said of many of the stories in this collection. All begin deceptively easily, gain weight and often crescendo in the final paragraph. The mistake I made during my first reading of this collection was not pausing for breath and reflection between stories. This is not a book to be sprinted though.

Bluebeard’s Workshop and other stories is translated by JEAN ANDERSON, senior lecturer in French at the School of Asian and European Languages and Cultures at Victoria University of Wellington.