Author Lisa Meltzer Penn


The Siren Dialogues

A winter storm blows across a barrier island, a Siren calls from the deep reaches of the bay, and a strange woman washes ashore. So begins a lyrical, layered, sometimes violent dialogue with a desolate landscape and its mysterious and inexplicable inhabitants – people, animals and things, voices, wind and wood.

As the story unfolds, traditional form begins to break apart. Something unexpected emerges from the spaces between character and author/narrator, body and memory, pen and page.

A little background:

The Siren Dialogues began as a short story a decade before it shape-shifted into a novel.

Now how did that happen?

The characters of the short story weren't talking to each other, so Lisa interviewed them to find out why. Instead of answering politely as expected, they interrogated their author right back. Thus began Lisa's series of passages into the page, pulled by the irresistible voice of the Siren.

Who would do such a thing?

Many other writers have explored the blurred boundaries of dream and reality, and author and character, whether by design or accident: Luigi Pirandello (Six Characters In Search of An Author), Dodie Bellamy (The Letters of Mina Harker), Marguerite Duras (The Ravishing of Lol Stein) and Juan Rulfo (Pedro Paramo). While not setting out to write an experimental novel, Lisa finds kinship with these writers.

Read an excerpt from The Siren Dialogues.