Illustrated · review · Review Copy · Short Stories

Review: Alphabetique by Molly Peacock


Hardcover, 160 pages
Published November 4th 2014 by McClelland & Stewart
Source: Publisher

Alphabetique is a collection of 26 short stories and each protagonist of the 26 stories corresponds to a letter of the alphabet. The stories are accompanied by a page of collage drawn/created by Kara Kosaka. Molly Peacock is a poet so the lush lyricism of the stories is expected and even anticipated. The collection is, primarily, an unabashed celebration of language. Each story is told with words beginning with the letter under discussion, for example, when the protagonist is J, there is an influx of words starting with j such as jeremiad.

Sometimes the focus on using the words that corresponded with the letter under discussion detracted from the coherence of an actual story but at other times, Peacock found a balance between the two. When the focus is not on filling the story with as many words as possible, the stories find moments to breathe and evoke subtle emotions.

Peacock does not just explore the letters by their function but also their physical selves: their curves and lines. I really liked the dimension this gives to the stories.

If you are looking for something rich, something a bit quirky, and not a little bit hedonistic, I recommend this to you. Glut yourself on words.


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