photo of Elizabeth Engstrom by Mary Bartnikowski

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Front cover of The Alchemy of Love

The Alchemy of Love

A collaborative endeavor between artist ALAN M. CLARK and author ELIZABETH ENGSTROM, this volume fictionalizes the idealization of romantic love and how it translates to the reality of human experience. A volume of eight pieces of fiction and eight paintings, Engstrom ”literates“ four of Clark's disturbing and surreal works of art, while Clark illustrates four of Engstrom's dark and haunting stories. Introduction by Jack Ketchum.

”Crosley,“ a short story contained in this volume was included in The Thirteenth Annual Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, edited by Ellen Datlow.

ISBN 0966627229 - $49.95

Candyland, a short novel from this collection, is available on Kindle, Nook, and all other electronic media.

Critics have said:

"If 1990s culture has had a dominant trait, it might be optimism. The violent tales and tell-all memoirs that have filled our bookshelves and theaters have been accompanied by feel-good hopefulness. The underlying message seems to be that just trying is good enough. Evil will go away, goodness will prevail and sanity will return if one doesn't lose hope. Some exceptional books that viewed desperate lives with equanimity—Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes—have been uplifting. Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club was tender. Other stories, such as the film You've Got Mail were just plain silly. But Eugene residents Elizabeth Engstrom and Alan M. Clark don't buy into the "nice" culture. Instead of wrapping pain in an uplifting package, they explore the horrible, violent and bizarre outcomes of bad luck, bad decisions and bad morals. This collection would give Alfred Hitchcock the creeps."—The Register-Guard

"The Alchemy of Love is not for the faint of heart, or for readers with set ideas about genre boundaries, but anyone with an interest in exploring the farther reaches of art, fiction, and human behavior should find much here to ponder."—Locus

"The Alchemy of Love is a darkly imaginative and hallucinatory trip... Clark's art and Engstrom's prose inspire each other and each piece is a perfect match. Engstrom has been interested in erotic obsession from her earliest fiction, and The Alchemy of Love frees her to explore the subject in multiple permutations..."—Year's Best Fantasy and Horror