Synopses & Reviews
A Locus Award Winner * A Time
Best Book of the Year * A Bram Stoker Finalist * A World Fantasy Award Finalist * A Seattle Times
Best Book of the Year
"Link is no doubt a sorceress to be reckoned with." --The New York Times Book Review
. This is what certain readers live for: fiction that makes the world instead of merely mimicking it." Audrey Niffenegger
"All of Links stories are wonderfully odd and original. Some are also quite scary." Sarah Waters
"Link is the exact best and strangest and funniest short story writer on earth that you have never heard of at the exact moment you are reading these words and making them slightly inexact."--Jonathan Lethem
A hybrid world thats part Muggle and part magic."Time
"A new collection by Kelly Link-- and once more, for a little while, the world is worth saving."-Michael Chabon
"Link's world is one to savor." --Entertainment Weekly
"[Magic for Beginners] might just encapsulate one of the most fertile literary movements of recent years."Boston Globe
"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
"Move over, Russell Edson. Link is the purest, most distinctive surrealist in America, and she doesn't stop at prose-poem length." Booklist
"[E]ven when I didn't know what to make of her stories, I couldn't put them out of my mind. That sort of resonance, that lingering, haunting effect, is the product of real magic, and Kelly Link is no doubt a sorceress to be reckoned with." New York Times
"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)
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.
This whimsical and spellbinding debut collection of stories creates fresh and contemporary tales of how magic and myth work in our everyday lives, as it mines the rich folklore and history of Cornwall.
In the tradition of Angela Carter, this luminous, spellbinding debut reinvents the stuff of myth.
Straying husbands lured into the sea by mermaids can be fetched back, for a fee. Trees can make wishes come true. Houses creak and keep a fretful watch on their inhabitants, straightening shower curtains and worrying about frayed carpets. A mother, who seems alone and lonely, may be rubbing sore muscles or holding the hands of her invisible lover as he touches her neck. Phantom hounds roam the moors and, on a windy beach, a boy and his grandmother beat back despair with an old white door.
In these stories, the line between the real and the imagined is blurred as Lucy Wood takes us to Cornwall’s ancient coast, building on its rich storytelling history and recasting its myths in thoroughly contemporary ways. Calling forth the fantastic and fantastical, she mines these legends for that bit of magic remaining in all our lives—if only we can let ourselves see it.
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
Diving Belles 1
Countless Stones 20
Of Mothers and Little People 39
Lights in Other Peoples Houses 54
The Giants Boneyard 90
Notes from the House Spirits 130
The Wishing Tree 147
Blue Moon 170
Some Drolls Are Like That and Some Are Like This 205