Synopses & Reviews
Best of the Decade: Salon, The A.V. Club
"If I had to pick the most powerfully original voice in fantasy today, it would be Kelly Link. Her stories begin in a world very much like our own, but then, following some mysterious alien geometry, they twist themselves into something fantastic and, frequently, horrific. You won’t come out the same person you went in."—Lev Grossman, The Week
"Highly original."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Dazzling."—Entertainment Weekly (grade: A, Editor’s Choice)
"Darkly playful."—Michael Chabon
Best of the Year: Time Magazine, Salon, Boldtype, PopMatters.
Kelly Link’s engaging and funny stories riff on haunted convenience stores, husbands and wives, rabbits, zombies, weekly apocalyptic poker parties, witches, and cannons. Includes Hugo, Nebula, and Locus award winners. A Best of the Year pick from TIME, Salon.com, and Book Sense. Illustrated by Shelley Jackson.
Kelly Link is the author of three collections of short fiction Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners, and Pretty Monsters. Her short stories have won three Nebula, a Hugo, and a World Fantasy Award. She was born in Miami, Florida, and once won a free trip around the world by answering the question “Why do you want to go through the world?” (”Because you can’t go through it.”)
Link lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she and her husband, Gavin J. Grant, run Small Beer Press, co-edit the fantasy half of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and play ping-pong. In 1996 they started the occasional zine Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.
"Move over, Russell Edson. Link is the purest, most distinctive surrealist in America, and she doesn't stop at prose-poem length." Booklist
"Kelly Link has an uncanny knack for casting spells over her readers, for luring them into the dark places the attic, the underworld, a realm beneath a hill." The Boston Phoenix
"Magic For Beginners
reads more like a book of spooky old fairy tales and fables than a contemporary short story collection. Link embraces various genres, such as fantasy and horror, lovingly takes them apart, combines their pieces, and revives them, creating stories that never fail to please or surprise. This is some of the most interesting writing in any genre out there today." Alexis Smith, Powells.com
(read the entire Powells.com review
Cult favorite Kelly Link unfurls a second engaging, funny, and magical selection of stories, with riffs on marriage, cannons, convenience stories, superheroes, zombies, and apocalyptic poker parties. Illustrations.
Magic for Beginners is the highly anticipated second collection by Kelly Link, the author of the cult favorite collection Stranger Things Happen. As the title suggests, this is an engaging, funny, and magical selection of stories about haunted convenience stores, husbands and wives, rabbits, zombies, weekly apocalyptic poker parties, witches, superheroes, marriages, and cannons, and includes several stories original to the collection. Stories from Magic for Beginners have previously been published in McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales, Conjunctions, and The Dark.
Magic for Beginners
is Kelly Link's eagerly anticipated and critically acclaimed follow-up to her beloved debut, Stranger Things Happen
. "Cumulatively weirder and wiser" (The Believer
), this new story collection riffs on zombies, marriage, witches, superheroes, haunted convenience stores, and weekly apocalyptic poker parties, among other things.
Link's work is truly unique. Time Out New York called her stories "cross-genre gems," and her admirers in the literary community — from Peter Straub and Karen Joy Fowler to Alice Sebold and Michael Chabon — reflect the amazing range that makes her style so special. Call it kitchen sink magical realism: Fantastic and bizarre but funny and down to earth, there is something for everyone in Magic for Beginners.
An engaging and funny second collection by an original voice.
About the Author
Kelly Link is the editor of Trampoline, and co-editor of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet and The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror. Link lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
The Faery Handbag
Some Zombie Contingency Plans
The Great Divorce
Magic for Beginners