Melissa Pritchard's New Collection, The Odditorium, Gets a Shout-Out From Oprah

Ladies and Gentlemen! Dreamers and Fools! Why not enter the fantastic world of wonders and horrors that is Melissa Pritchard's, The Odditorium. It was just named one of "Ten Titles to Pick Up Now" by O, The Oprah Magazine in it's January, 2012 issue. "The stories in this strange and original collection bend genres - horror, mystery, Western - into wondrous new shapes".

Check out this awesome poster on the author's website. The stories in this collection also play with historical figures such as Robert LeRoy Ripley of "Ripley's Believe It Or Not", who appears in the title story. 

Melissa Pritchard, who teaches at Arizona State University, says there are seven stories and a novella in The Odditorium

Pritchard describes her book and answers a few questions after the jump ... 

"Six are inspired by historical figures from various centuries; most of the pieces are influenced not only by character and narrative but by a particular architectural space - an historic luxury hotel in India, an Italianate, haunted hospital in Great Britain, a rural convent in Russia, a child's dungeon in Germany, for example," she says. "I love diving beneath history's accepted narratives, in themselves fascinating mirrors of cultural bias, mythos and prejudice, to find the fantastic, the bizarre, the sublime, the comical, the horrific, the transcendent. And in this collection, I posed an ethical dilemma, unanswerable, ambiguous, reverberant, at the core of each story." 

What are you reading? 

Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition by Robert Pogue Harrison, Teresa of Avila: The Progress of a Soul by Cathleen Medwick, Satura, poems by Eugenio Montale, and Charles Dickens: A Life, the new biography by Claire Tomalin 

What was your last guilty pleasure read? 

Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone - no real guilt because it's a terrific read. Also Brad Morrow's, The Diviner's Tale - another wonderful novel 

Where's the best place in Phoenix to read? 

Embarrassingly, I don't go out much when I'm in Phoenix, so my favorite place to read is here at home, on my green velvet chaise longue, beside the fire. If I had to pick somewhere, I'd go to either the Tempe library or ASU's Hayden library...libraries are great spaces for communal solitude.

(The Odditorium will be available Jan. 10, 2012)