"Part ghost story, part murder mystery, Advice for Taxidermists and Amateur Beekeepers does what few of either genre have managed to do over the last couple years – keep its secrets. Like a star visible only in the periphery of vision, the true nature of Margot Morris’ death remains elusive, giving space for the grief of her siblings to act as a mirror of the readers’ experience. Like Teddy, Sylvia, and Agatha, we naturally come to the conclusion of the novel ever desirous of answers, yet also knowing that some things are better off without too much detail.
No stranger to writing within restrained forms, Vance’s debut novel is yet another fine example of less-is-more. Only someone who has lived in a small town would be able to render the physical and social landscape of the Valley so fully with so few words. There is an undeniably poetic vein running through Vance’s prose, at times transforming the narrative into a prairie fairytale, at others drawing the reader in through dreamlike second-person, but always with just enough of the corporeal present to serve as a memento mori.
Advice for Taxidermists and Amateur Beekeepers is certain to intrigue, delight, and perturb."
-Emily Campbell, founder of The New Cambrians
“Erin Emily Ann Vance’s The Sorceress Who Left Too Soon is a violently breathtaking examination of death and its feasting shadows. With a melancholic voice that weaves dark witchcraft into the mind and spirit, Vance transfixes her audience in this ethereal and severely sinister collection."
— Effy Winter, Author of Flowers of the Flesh (Rhythm & Bones Press, 2019)
"As with much of the author’s haunting poetry, this book reaches into the territory of fairy tales and the Gothic, but it simultaneously (and predominantly) grounds itself in contemporary realism. Advice for Taxidermists and Amateur Beekeepers demonstrates this kind of dual function in tonal terms, too: while it strays into morbid territory, it is punctuated throughout by surprising levity and humour."
-Mike Thorn, author of Darkest Hours (Unnerving, 2017)
Erin Emily ann Vance
"With language that dazzles and haunts, Erin Emily Ann Vance has honored the work of surrealist Remedios Varo in every line of these poems. In The Sorceress Who Left Too Soon each poem is more visceral and strange than the last. There is a deep melancholy here, but something more: a door to a realm beyond our own, where reality unspools and freedom is found."
— Catherine Garbinsky, author of All Spells are Strong Here (Ghost City Press, 2018)
"Erin Emily Ann Vance’s novel Advice for Taxidermists and Amateur Beekeepers is a vibrant, delicious, and haunting dip into the magical realism genre with a hint of a ghost story. After the death of their sister and her children the Morris siblings have a girl in a red dress appear to them one by one. This, and the resulting funeral and grief, bring forth memories which are disturbing, spine tingling, and steeped in strangeness which has always set their family apart in the small Alberta town. Vance’s writing is poetic and spine tingling in a way that will both make the reader delightfully terrified and yet completely satisfied."
-Kim Firmston, Author of Boiled Cat and Touch
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