A Canon Which Includes The Cannon

Laura Miller chose Magic for Beginners for Vulture’s Premature Attempt at the 21st Century Canon:

“Any collection of Kelly Link’s stories will do. They shimmer in the borderlands of myth, genre, and literature. A convenience store caters to the mild-mannered zombies who emerge from a nearby gorge and clumsily attempt to shop. A group of teenagers bond over an elusive TV series. A suburban family becomes slowly and methodically alienated from every possession they own. Link’s stories can make you shudder, then laugh, then feel like a god has just walked past your window.” —Laura Miller

Dread and Delight

Kelly’s latest story, “The White Cat’s Divorce,” will be published in the catalog for an exhibit, “Dread and Delight: Fairy Tales in an Anxious World,” opening later this month at the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, NC.
After its Greensboro debut, Dread & Delight will travel to the Faulconer Gallery at Grinnell College in Iowa and the Akron Art Museum in Ohio.
Related Programs:
Opening Reception • Aug 25 @ 5pm
Playing with Tales: Writing Workshop • Sept 15 + 29 @ 2-4:30pm
Fairy Tale Read-A-Thon • Nov 2 @ 12-9pm

New Kelly Link & Cassandra Clare Story

https://draft2digital.com/book/314623/cover_image/originalOn July 10th, Kelly’s new story co-written with Cassandra Clare and part of the Ghosts of the Shadow Market ebook serial “Learn About Loss” will be published in ebook and audiobook.

The story is part of Clare’s epic bestselling Shadowhunter series and is set in “the Shadow Market” which is a meeting point for faeries, werewolves, warlocks and vampires.”

Here are links to Kobo for the Shadow Market serial so far — the ebooks and audiobooks are available at all the usual ebooksites online:

Son of the Dawn” by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
Cast Long Shadows” by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
Every Exquisite Thing” by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson (June 12, 2018)

There will be a total of ten stories, including another story co-written by Kelly Link and Cassandra Clare, which will be published when all ten stories are collected in a hardcover collection in 2019.

Anthony Doerr on Magic For Beginners

LitHub posted a list of 20 Great Writers on Their Favorite Story Collections which included this:

A one-size-fits-all story collection does not exist, of course—sometimes a writer needs some Borges and sometimes she needs some Lydia Davis. The writer who’s never heard of Barry Hannah probably requires a dose of Airships, and the writer who has never read Steven Millhauser needs to fall into “In the Reign of Harad IV” ASAP.

But if there’s one collection I find myself recommending more than others lately, it’s Kelly Link’s Magic For Beginners. Lots of student writers read Harry Potter or Percy Jackson as kids; maybe in their teens they moved on to Stephen King or Bradbury or Gaiman or (one hopes) LeGuin. I’m learning that these writers, when they’re being asked to read Edith Wharton or John Updike or Melville, are dazzled by Link’s ability to plant multiple limbs in multiple genres. She fuses childhood terrors with adult estrangement; her stories are gorgeous, delicate, spooky, human, and deeply layered.
–Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See

Jami Attenberg on BBC Radio 4

Jami Attenberg on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book on reading ghost stories while writing her latest novel All Grown Up:

“Kelly Link: one of my favorite American writers of any kind.Beyond the traditional otherworldliness that is the mark of speculative fiction, Link is an extremely funny writer capable of incredibly human observations in an easy, natural writing style. People disappear in Link’s wide-ranging stories. They move in and out of each other’s lives physically, emotionally, and spiritually. But there is always a sense of empathy which I perhaps treasure most in a book.”

Looking for satisfying contemporary literary fiction?

Nicole Lamy includes Magic for Beginners in her Match Book column which appeared in print for the first time this weekend on October 8, 2017, in the Sunday Book Review:

“More enchantment lies in Kelly Link’s deadpan, winsome collection of short stories “Magic for Beginners,” though angst haunts these pages, too. A lovelorn teenager hunts for her grandmother’s missing handbag; a witch’s children pine for happy lives. Link is a master of teenage consciousness — convenience-store ethos and pop cultural references included — layered with the additional charm of parallel dimensions.”


Books Are Magic

In a NYT story about authors who own bookstores (Summer Reading Recommendations, From 6 Novelists Who Own Bookstores) in a side note Alexandra Alter noted that Emma Straub’s staff recommendations at her new store Books Are Magic include Magic for Beginners:

On a sunny afternoon in late April, the day before the opening of Books Are Magic in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, the novelist Emma Straub was apologetically shooing away potential customers.

A woman with a dog poked her head in the door, which was still being painted, to say that “there has never been more buzz” about a store opening in the neighborhood. Ms. Straub, an owner of the bookstore, told her the place was dog-friendly and invited her to come back when it opened.

The space, a former clothing boutique on Smith Street, still smelled like fresh paint and sawdust. By the register were shelves full of new fiction and nonfiction and a bookcase dedicated to eclectic titles published by The New York Review of Books. Nearby, the fiction section held a mix of contemporary works and classics, including two editions of “Middlemarch,” Ms. Straub’s favorite novel.

Staff picks sat on the opposite wall — Ms. Straub, 37, had recommended “Magic for Beginners,” a collection of short stories by Kelly Link. Down a few stairs, a separate bright, airy room with exposed brick walls, wooden rafters and a skylight was filled almost entirely with children’s books. . . . Read on

LV Interview

Kelly was interviewed ahead of the Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City where she was on the Fail Safe podcast and did a reading. Here’s the introduction to the interview and a link:

Her prose has a lilting tone and a conspiratorial voice — and she has a way of creating narrators who get inside your head. Link’s work can be deeply unsettling, because it never feels too far out of reach. The premises and settings that pull her work out of the mundane world can (sometimes literally) take on a life of their own, but it’s the way that the characters — and the readers — react that does the heavy lifting in her stories.


Snap Judgment

Kelly’s story “Most of My Friends are Two-Thirds Water” was adapted as part of this week’s Snap Judgment:

Bionic Blondes – Snap 724

The hottest alien takeover of all time. This story was originally written by Kelly Link, and comes from her collection, Stranger Things Happen. It was adapted, directed, and produced by Mark Ristich and Eliza Smith.
Voice Actors: Glynn Washington and Joyce LeeYou can find all things Kelly Link at her website, kellylink.net/