by Lindz McLeod
Review by Julie Carpenter
How shall I introduce this short story collection? As a literary high wire act – dangerous, exciting, with a touch of the bizarre? As a group of modern fables that feel both trippy and morally astute? As a compilation of character studies that make us emote with a turducken and feel the overwhelm of being stalked by the dead? As pure, unadulterated, experimental fun? It’s all these things and more.
Turducken is a weird but approachable collection of short stories that packs an outsize wallop relative to its slim silhouette. It’s story-forward – keep your eye on the narrative – but every character has a beating heart (of some sort). This book manages to be at once genial and frightening in all the best possible ways. McLeod is brilliant at creating modern fables that get inside the reader’s head – to the point that it often feels that she’s pulled a memory from the collective unconscious, some dark imagining that’s shocking but not unfamiliar – perhaps all too unsettlingly real.
The stories sparkle on the surface but have surprising depth. There are tales where experience is removed one step from humankind and examined - the turducken, trapped in an existence it didn’t ask for, or a furred and feathered creature navigating the world of human romance. There are metamorphoses where the inside becomes the outside with results that surprise with their strange necessity. There is even a cozy mystery with a twist. This is a varied world where anything can happen, but only because it must.
I read these stories a few at a time, returning to suss out details and digest them before coming back for more. Think of these narratives as toys that are the most fun you’ve ever had but are in danger of being recalled for having sharp edges – or maybe more like blowing soap bubbles that release fairies when popped, but you don’t know if they will grant wishes, bite you, or turn your aunt into a toad.
Sacred Chickens highly recommends adding this to your short story collection and watching for more work by the fantastic and fantastical Lindz McLeod.
Barnes and Noble
Lindz McLeod is a queer, working-class, Scottish writer and editor who dabbles in the surreal.
She was the Competition Secretary of the Edinburgh Writers' Club from 2019-2023, and was recently elected as the Club President. She is a fiction reader for both the Scottish Flash Fiction Awards and Scottish Short Story Awards, as well as being a freelance editor and writing coach for both fiction and non-fiction. She is an experienced workshop host, and a Rogue Mentor to six talented mentees. Additionally, she is a full member of the SFWA, the Scottish Writers Association, the Federation of Writers (Scotland), and is represented by Laura Zats at Headwater Literary Management. She very rarely sleeps.
In 2019, she was awarded a Masters in Creative Writing from the Open University. Lindz began a PhD in Creative Writing with Manchester Metropolitan University in January 2023—her thesis centers around vision and intimacy in both literary and speculative fiction. Her work has been taught in schools, universities, and has been adapted for avant-garde opera. She writes equally comfortably in English and Scots, and has recently started learning Gaelic.
In 2022, Lindz's flash story 'Cake By The Ocean' was nominated for the annual Best Small Fictions anthology. Her short story collection, Turducken (reprinted by Spaceboy Press, 2023) represents the best of her short work and spans a wide range of genres from literary to comedy to horror. She also writes novels in a variety of genres.
In her spare time, Lindz is a mediocre archer, a devoted cinephile, and enjoys performing at live literature events. She is available for readings, submission invites, hosting duties, writing workshops, and events—contact her at email@example.com or on Twitter @lindzmcleod
Patreon available at https://patreon.com/lindzmcleod