“Tainaron: Mail from Another City”

The topic of a recent discussion over at the Weird Tradition group at LibraryThing.

Review: “Tainaron: Mail from Another City”, Leena Krohn, trans. Hilda Hawkins, 2005. 

This story is long enough that the anthology’s introdctory blurb calls it a short novel. It is narrated, seemingly, by a woman given that we have a dream with a rapist and mention of a dress she wishes she had. 

The 30 letters of varying lengths are addressed to someone, seemingly in Europe, who never answers back. They seem to be to an old lover. 

The story is long on strange elements and short on dialogue and a conventional plot except in the sequence of events mentioned in the letters.

Tianaron is a city full of what seems like a variety of sentient, insectoid life. No explanation is given as to how it came to be. Indeed, the narrator reached it by ship though she can’t remember exactly how. There is no mention of the city being on another planet other than on Earth. 

There are many oddities the narrator, sometimes accompanieed by local native guide Longhorn, encounters. 

The dead of the city are taken to subterranean rooms where they are consumed, except for some part of their body taken as a token by loved ones, by what seems the young of the city, beetles basically.

There is a prince long ignored who know who sees no one for years on end. 

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