In the cheeky biographical note on the press release for her first novel, The Burial, Courtney Collins expresses a wish that she might one day be ‘a “lady” poet’. If I had read that before reading the novel, I would have been slightly alarmed: with many notable exceptions, poets tend not to make good novelists. It is true that The Burial is finely written, with a lovely ear for the cadences of language, but it also has an urgent narrative drive, along with a strong awareness of place, compelling characters, and a whiff of magic realism to enliven the mixture.
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