Classics · Fairie Tales & Folklore · Fiction · Literary

Gift Books for a Cosy Christmas

If you are like me, Christmas isn’t complete without pulling out those special books from the Christmas box. The same stories year after year–and sometimes a new one or two–create that nostalgia that makes the holidays so special. Here are a couple new editions of old favorites, and a couple brand new offerings–a style for… Continue reading Gift Books for a Cosy Christmas

Fiction · Magical Realism and Fantasy · Youth

When Sorrow Was Swallowed By Hope

The Girl Who Drank the Moon tells of a whole village, the Protectorate, living under a cloud of sorrow. Each year all of the village leaders, except one, insist that a new infant gets left in the woods as a sacrifice to a terrifying witch of legend. Antain, a leader-in-training in the Protectorate’s corrupt oligarchy, prefers the beauty of carpentry to the lust of power and is torn apart by these seemingly necessary sacrifices. While the people look outside the village for the evil they fear, Sister Ignatia remains a terror from within, imprisoning those who refuse the sacrifices under the guise of healing their madness.

This is a story about one infant rescued from her abandonment by the good witch Xan, enmagicked by drinking moonlight, and raised in the woods as Luna by her adopted family: Xan, the adorable Fyrian (a Perfectly Tiny dragon orphan who dreams of being Simply Enormous), and Glerk, the ancient bog monster, who quotes the poetry he sees in all the world. When hope motivates Antain towards the woods and the desire for truth motivates Luna towards the Protectorate, will they be able to unite in stopping the true evil before it is too late? A story with parallel plots, and many characters who come together in a surprising twist, this is a saga of light and darkness, sorrow and hope.

Fiction · Literary

When God is Unsettling and Man is Finite

Literary writer Joy Williams, finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Award, has just released a new collection of short stories this month—Ninety-Nine Stories of God. Her work has often been described as ‘Kafkaesque’ for its disorienting, even haunting atmosphere. Provocatively, this description applies just as aptly to her treatment of God—a Being disorienting in his elusiveness and haunting in actions we may well like to judge.

Fiction · Literary

An Unlikely Path Towards Redemption

Ramona Ausubel has recently become one of my favorite fiction authors. Her newest characters don’t go to church or discuss God very often, and if you are looking for a cleaned up, PG version of reality, you won’t find it. Her characters do devastating things to each other: they have affairs, take revenge, and even abandon their children. But Ausubel’s vision of a good life is far from nihilistic. She affirms the worth of living, despite weakness and age. She values commitment and family. She upholds marital love as deeper than passion, and weighs the impact generations bequeath on one another. Her characters hardly arrive through the mess they make unscathed; Ausubel doesn’t pretend there are no consequences. Yet, through failure, she reveals the mysterious grace that sometimes a person’s most devastating choices are also their means to redemption.