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Comyns, Barbara

Entry updated 15 February 2021. Tagged: Author.

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Working name of UK author Barbara Comyns-Carr (1907-1992), whose style's transfixed faux-naive simplicity intensifies the tone of pregnant magic realism (see Fabulation) that marks much of her work. In Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead (1954), a small isolated village is uncannily disrupted first by a flood then by a plague (the latter all the more uncanny in that it seems not to be Pandemic but entirely local) [for Polder here and Twice-Told below see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. The Vet's Daughter (1959) describes the emotional distress of its doomed narrator, Alice Rowlands, in so deadpan a fashion that the violent scene of fatal levitation (see Telekinesis) which culminates the tale can be read as literal. The Juniper Tree: Adapted from a Children's Fairy Story of the Same Name by the Brothers Grimm, Which Is far too Macabre for Adult Reading (1985) provides through its subtitle a sufficient description of this hallucinated Twice-Told tale. [JC]

see also: Fantasy Entries.

Barbara Irene Veronica Comyns-Carr

born Bidford-on-Avon, Warwickshire: 27 December 1907

died Shrewsbury, Shropshire: 15 July 1992

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