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Contemporary parables with a beguiling strangeness

We, the Foam

Caro Van Thuyne

‘You are not yourself, you are crowds of others’. This quote from Rebecca Solnit opens the debut collection by Caro Van Thuyne that goes on to explore the intangible and indeterminate that Solnit hints at. In eleven short stories, Van Thuyne introduces the reader to her highly authentic and eccentric universe. Although each story can be read on its own, the characters and stories are woven into an enchanting mosaic.

Utter literary freedom

A common thread throughout the stories is the outsider’s perspective: a young boy in an unhealthy mother-and-child relationship, who invokes unusual superhero powers, an isolated old woman and her squirrel monkey and even the voice of the foam on the water.

‘We, the Foam’ is structured like a record or a CD: with an A-side, a B-side and a bonus track. The book is full of allusions to the Australian band The Triffids. Following frontman David McComb, Caro Van Thuyne creates a universe peopled by characters who are slowly losing their grip on reality. Stylistically, the collection is remarkable too: Van Thuyne has shaped each story’s form to uniquely reflect its content. Her vivid and filmic stories are exercises in controlled madness. ‘We, the Foam’ is highly unconventional.

As if Mark Oliver Everett of Eels tried his hand at writing fiction
Cutting Edge
Her stories carry a salutary strangeness, a disconcerting and exciting surfeit of meaning.
De Groene Amsterdammer