Kelly Link’s engaging and funny second collection — call it kitchen-sink magical realism — riffs on haunted convenience stores, husbands and wives, rabbits, zombies, weekly apocalyptic poker parties, witches, superheroes, marriage, and cannons — and includes several new stories. Link is an original voice: no one else writes quite like this.
Best of the Decade: Salon, The Onion, The Village Voice, HTML Giant.
Locus Award winner. Young Lions Award, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy Finalist. Story Prize recommended reading list.
“Link’s stories … play in a place few writers go, a netherworld between literature and fantasy, Alice Munro and J.K. Rowling, and Link finds truths there that most authors wouldn’t dare touch.”
— Time Magazine
“The dream-logic of Magic for Beginners is intoxicating. These stories will come alive, put on zoot suits, and wrestle you to the ground. They want you and you will be theirs.”
— Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones
Each story is illustrated by cover artist Shelley Jackson. The cover is modeled on Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Lady with an Ermine.”
Stories from Magic for Beginners have been published in McSweeney’s Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales, Conjunctions, The Dark, and One Story. “Stone Animals” was selected for The Best American Short Stories: 2005.
The collection — minus the title story and “The Faery Handbag” for contractual reasons — is available from Small Beer Press as a free Creative Commons download.
Table of Contents
- The Faery Handbag
- The Hortlak
- The Cannon
- Stone Animals
- Some Zombie Contingency Plans
- The Great Divorce
- Magic for Beginners
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