James Stoddard’s Evenmere series

This was first printed on Sleeping Hedgehog which you really should visit.

I just got chased out of the kitchen by Mrs. Ware who apparently has a large catering order being assembled by her staff for The School of Imagination who are hosting a seminar on the Evenmere novels this afternoon.

Oh you haven’t heard of these novels? In 1998, American writer James Stoddard published his debut novel, The High House, and several years later followed it with a sequel, The False House. They’re two of the more remarkable fantasies I have read.

The background for these novels can be found in the interview that our Publisher did with Stoddard a few years back. He reviews the books here in looking at their only true hardcover edition to date.

Our first review of these novels does a nice job of summing up what Evenmere is: ‘Welcome to the House that God built. Evenmere, the High House, that unending, ever-changing building which crosses and contains worlds. It is, and represents, all Creation, an enigma, a parable, a mystery. Within its halls and rooms, passages and basements, attics and terraces, are the undreamt worlds, the lands of dream, places like Oz and Innman Tor and Arkalen. The House bridges upon our own world, but is far more than a house. It just Is.’

It is the unique setting of Evenmere that I find appealing. Stoddard, an American, has created a most English feeling novel that is both personal and mythic at the same time. Go get a cup of tea, settle in by the windows in the Library here, and enjoy reading them. We’ll discuss them later over Elevenses.

And indeed a third novel is in the works as you can read here.

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