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A few years ago, the Norwegian electronic duo Röyksopp released two paired albums. One was Junior, a bouncy light-hearted romp through party pop. The other was Senior, a more introverted and complex record. Interesting to hear, but ultimately less hooky. Fans of the duo vow to love both albums equally, but secretly they all prefer Junior. The immediate fun atmosphere is exactly what the ear needs to deliver a happiness boost to the system.
Chrissy Williams, maybe without meaning to, has written her own pair much in the style of Junior and Senior. The first book, The Jam Trap (her last book before Flying into the Bear, which came out last year through Soaring Penguin Press) is playful and humorous, filled with stories in the style of prose poems that burst with a sort of sentimental wit. Flying into the Bear (published by Happenstance) is more mature both is style and in content. Much like the aforementioned Scandinavian songsmiths, Williams has shown, eloquently and comprehensively, two completely different sides to her creative endeavours. Though that is perhaps where the similarity ends. Williams will not have to suffer for turning to a more introspective mode of writing. Flying into the Bear is charged with an emotional gravity that far surpasses that of The Jam Trap, making it a more engaging and even more entertaining read. Continue reading