Thursday, December 07, 2006

Magic For Beginners

I'm reading tidbits and excerpts from Kelly Link's Magic For Beginners. Kelly Link writes beautiful short stories that can be described as fantastic in nature---usually mixing elements of myth, magic, and surrealism. Link's first collection of short stories featured several stories that were inspired by fairy tales and myths. Her second collection, while inspired thematically by many of the same things, steps away the reworkings of fairy tale and into her own territory.

"The Faery Handbag", the first story of the collection and winner of Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards, tells the story of a girl, her grandmother, and a boy who has vanished. I struggle to put into words a cohesive description of the story because the magic lies in the writing and not in the plot. The voice of the writing, is haunting, wistful, and slightly tense, as the protagonist tries to balance what she knows to be true of her grandmother with reality. It's truly original, and a haunting piece.

Be warned that if you are looking for resolutions or endings in Link's collection, you will be disappointed. As in real life, there are no true resolutions or answers. You are left to imagine of what is to come, what will be, and why.

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