The stories in After the Fires light the dark places where reality burns away to reveal something fantastical. In these stories Ursula Pflugs worlds unfold like waking dreams where what was forgotten is remembered. Her narrators accept these shadow worlds as their truth and the reader is seduced into following along to see what has been refashioned and lies waiting to be discovered among the ashes that remain after the fires.
“Ursula Pflug’s incendiary, surreal short fiction immerses the reader in a unique world. The effect is like nothing I’ve felt from reading any other writer’s fiction. Pflug manages to find the extraordinary and the epiphanal in reality, and bring out the reality of her fantastical settings. She isn’t about escapism or giving readers a comfortable, familiar experience. If you like daring, if you want to experience something truly different, to come out the other end somehow…changed…then you’re the kind of reader who will love After the Fires. She’s a true original and this collection is Pflug at her best. A first-rate talent who should be more widely known.”
– Jeff VanderMeer
“Pflug’s impressive control of language creates a manageable framework for the imaginative content of her stories in which reality is shifted slightly, turned on its axis… The highly visual and often abstract prose makes for an uneasy reading experience in which the narrative begins to interrogate the reader’s perception of reality.”
– Katelynn Schoop, The Danforth Review, Toronto, October 2008
“This is the place where the punk “scene” departed from the optimism of the hippy movement into the “real” world of soul searching and survival downtown. Here a feathered birdman may visit one of Pflug’s inner city apartments, an oozing Grandmotherly ghost may lurch forward to explain classism in poetics, or a crow may watch passively from a chair. Pflug swims gracefully into an alternate reality to bring back words with their nervous systems on the outside of their bodies. She deposits them before our horrified eyes and we emerge improved by the experience.”
– Kismet Dyment, The Peterborough Examiner, Saturday September 13, 2008