The Cathay Stories and Other Fictions

by MacDonald Harris. (Short Story Collection) . Santa Cruz: Story Line Press, 1988.

From the Jacket:

These short fictions are distinguished by their oddity, their bizarre or original form, their often exotic settings, and, in some cases, by a convolution of style that suggests the Jamesian or Nabokovian. In one of them the main character is a severed head, in another, a madman talks to dogs and learns of their plans to take over the world. Three of them, including the novella Polo's Trip, form a cycle of tales about a modern day Marco Polo who travels from Venice to Cathay and in doing so finds himself journeying back in time to the epoch of the historical Marco Polo and Kubla Khan. All of the stories in this collection work on the edge of fantasy and involve black humor, dealing slapstick blows at literary conventions, suburban respectability, and even at MacDonald Harris, himself.

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