I can always rely on Angela Slatter to shatter my heart.
This wee volume was put together by Fablecroft for Conflux, the Canberra SF convention, this year. It’s a teaser for Slatter’s next volume of stories set in the world of Sourdough and Bitterworld Bible, basically. The main feature is the title story, with a couple other short bits included, and – to make it extra special – illustrations from Kathleen Jennings.
“The Tallow-Wife” is exactly the sort of story I have come to expect from Slatter, especially when it’s a story from this world. It’s a family story, it’s a gentle story, it’s a nasty story as only family stories can be. There’s hints and suggestions of machinations that aren’t spelled out, there’s layers of heartbreak and confusion, and it’s all presented in beautiful prose that sometimes bewilders me: how can such lovely words be telling a story that tears me up? It took me a good couple of weeks to read this – I read it in two sittings but after I put it down the first time I was super reluctant to pick it back up because I knew it would just hurt. And it did, but it was worth it, and I loved it for all the pain.
It must be noted that this is a lovely <i>object</i>, too. Hard cover, Jennings pictures; it’s a delight.
This book was given to me by the publisher at no cost.
I adored Kate Forsyth’s Bitter Greens a few years ago – a reimagining of the Rapunzel story, along with the story of one of its first tellers, Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force (1650-1724). It’s a book of excruciating loveliness, whose three interleaved stories are told in heartbreaking detail and with great compassion.
But I’m not here to talk about that. If you haven’t read it – and even if you don’t think you like fairytale reimaginings – you really ought to go read it.
What The Rebirth of Rapunzel does is present Forsyth’s research into the story of Rapunzel – about the differences in versions, and the people who told them, along with what the story has meant, can mean, and what it shows us about fairytales in general. I think it’s just awesome that research like this can find a home; it’s so depressing when something you’ve spent many years on simply… disappears into a black hole. Forsyth has made her research very readable. I’m coming from a background of literary and historical criticism (I’ve read a couple of the books Forsyth refers to), but I’m pretty sure that such a background isn’t necessary to understand and appreciate Forsyth’s points. This isn’t academic-lite; it’s academic-approachable. Continue reading →
In which all 3 of us celebrate 6 years of Galactic Suburbia with an excellent baby and variable cake. ALISA IS BACK THIS IS NOT A DRILL! You can get us at iTunes or Galactic Suburbia.
What’s new on the internet?
JK Rowling, Native American “magic” and cultural appropriation.
National Geographic outlines the issues.
An open letter to Jo Rowling on the Native Appropriations blog – why indigenous people are not magical creatures.
Feminist Frequency crowdfunding at Seed & Spark: a series of films about historical women.
Also, Tansy’s upcoming superhero story at Book Smugglers – “Boy’s Own Superhero Bingo Card.”
Defying Doomsday coming soon too!
Listen to the end for the GALACTIC SUBURBIA GIVEAWAY – win a copy of The Rebirth of Rapunzel: A Mythic Biography of the Maiden in the Tower by Kate Forsyth, a unique non-fiction collection presenting Kate’s extensive academic research into the ‘Rapunzel’ fairy tale, alongside several other pieces related to fairy tales and folklore. Available soon from Fablecroft.
AND, although we forgot to mention this in the show, it’s time to nominate for the Galactic Suburbia Award! We want to honour activism and/or communication that advances the feminist conversation in the field of speculative fiction – so if you’ve got someone or something that should be nominated for 2015, let us know!