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Author: Alison Bundy 

Publisher: Burning Deck (1998)

"A truly epigrammatic prose can be difficult to pull off in English. The thirty-one fictions[']...economy is at once playful and finely controlled, reticent and suggestive.... Bundy is at her best tracing the persistence of desire with a mournful wit reminiscent of the best work of Lydia Davis.... The real virtues of DunceCap, though, are formal. It reads like the contents of a costume jewelry box—each item oddly wrought in a new way, with a philosophic modesty that's rare in self-conscious 'play'."

–Brian Lennon, Review of Contemporary Fiction

“The dunces Bundy creates resemble ourselves, with our unexplainable obsessions, our willful blindness to reality, our blunderings and embarrassments…. There’s a sinister quality to Bundy’s humor, a distance that elevates banal events and people to mysterious and often satirical proportions …. all are sudden fictions that strike with barbed wit and clemency.”

–Kelly Everding, Rain Taxi

“Fairy tales are called to mind when reading Bundy’s wonderful book…. The pieces are minimalist narratives that must be trusted by the reader, just as fairy tales are trusted. And like fairy tales they are antidotes to the oppressive and monstrous fictions of John Updike, Thomas Pynchon, Philip Roth and Ursula Hegi. Instead of closing off the imagination of the reader, Bundy invites the reader into the narrative so that the imagination is stimulated, enhanced, brought into play as part of the narrative. The stories bring to mind words like ‘mystery,’ ‘wonder’ and ‘magic.’ An outstanding piece of work.”

–Dallas Wiebe, Sulfur