Welcome to another installment of If My Book, the Monkeybicycle feature in which authors compare their recently released books to weird things. This week Anca L. Szilágyi writes about Dreams Under Glass, her new novel out from Lanternfish Press.
If Dreams Under Glass were a cocktail, it would be an egg cream laced with roach poison.
If Dreams Under Glass were a television channel, it would be the UHF one I found on the attic TV when I was 8 or 9, twisting the dials round and round until I stumbled on a too-dark-for-children claymation-and-puppet show.
If Dreams Under Glass were a perfume, it would feature scents of bubble gum, cigarettes, and a cold sweat.
If Dreams Under Glass were a gingerbread house it would actually be made of lemon sponge cake with little bits of broken glass.
If Dreams Under Glass were a cinematic vision of New York City, the aesthetic would offer an approximate hybrid of Nora Ephron and Darren Aronofsky.
If Dreams Under Glass were a diagnosis, it would be generalized anxiety disorder with a side of possible narcissism.
If Dreams Under Glass were a treatment, it would be stop, look, and listen.
If Dreams Under Glass were a breed of dog, it would be a Chow Chow with a Pomeranian complex.
If Dreams Under Glass were a candy it would be yellow Jujyfruits and pink Mike and Ikes.
If Dreams Under Glass were a physical malady, it would be the little lump at the nape of your neck that you keep probing and wondering: should I get this checked out? But by the time you see the doctor it’s gone and he says, maybe it was just a bundle of nerves. But then it re-emerges that night as a little singing meatball man. (Hat tip to Saturday Night Live, which, in its 2008 iteration, makes some appearances in Dreams Under Glass.)
If Dreams Under Glass were a cheese it would be the hunk of aged Swiss you sacrifice to the mouse trap because you are a cruel person who actually uses old-fashioned mouse traps, you monster, what have you done?
If Dreams Under Glass were an album it would start out as Vampire Weekend, jaunty if a bit blood-thirsty, but would morph into the ethereal triumph of Fleet Fox’s Sun Giant. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know these albums; the titles work for our purposes. Now go enjoy a chocolate egg cream, hold the roach poison.
Anca L. Szilágyi is the author of Daughters of the Air (Lanternfish Press, 2017), which Shelf Awareness called “a striking debut from a writer to watch,” and Dreams Under Glass (Lanternfish Press, 2022). Her writing appears in Orion Magazine, Lilith Magazine, and Los Angeles Review of Books, among others. Originally from Brooklyn, she has lived in Montreal, Seattle, and now Chicago, where she teaches creative writing. Follow her on Twitter at @ancawrites.