Going to World Fantasy!
Because talking is hard enough without all those 'st's
With Lanagan having published two acclaimed short story collections in close succession, one, (Black Juice, 2005), selected as a Printz Honor Book, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Australian fantasist’s third outing—also comprising 10 short stories—showed signs of exhausted reserves. Far from it, this razorsharp assemblage thrusts readers just as exhilaratingly into alien, hermetic environments and uncompromisingly idiomatic points of view. Fans will anticipate some disconcerting, even horrific stuff: In one story, female monkeys in a haremlike herd endure the rivalries of alpha males; in another, characters in Purgatory witness a soul’s descent into a howling, Hieronymous Bosch–like hell. While the stories always startle, they also often murmur about humanity’s higher inclinations, including honor, compassion, and different kinds of love. Along with the patience required to acclimate to each story’s fresh setup, the sophisticated slant of the collection makes it most appropriate for the broadest, most mature readers—the monkey-herd drama, for instance, includes upsetting scenes of animal-world rape, and several stories share plots about childbirth and motherhood rarely seen in books for teen readers. Such indifference to usual genre boundaries will only increase the admiration of Lanagan’s fans, and may serve to broaden her audience into the adult literary world. Young writers will relish the insights into each story’s genesis provided in the closing notes.
These stories are deceptively simple in appearance, as Lanagan's direct prose serves as a Trojan Horse for all sorts of mischievous interpretations to enter our brains and to become lodged there.Heh-heh.
My favourite though was the highly entertaining 'Midsummer Mission', which must surely win the prize for the most entertainingly foul-mouthed fairy to appear in children's literature.Elf, that would be, foul-mouthed elf.
These authors have been a joy to work with. What is incredibly wonderful about the final book is that you get to hear each writer’s distinctive voice but together they create another voice—the voice of the novel. I imagine the 10 of them sitting around a campfire, taking turns telling a single story. The thing is, with a group of celebrity authors like this, you know that they are all wonderful writers, but you don’t really know if in the end you will have a book that is interesting to read. But this is. It worked.
READ BEFORE USE WITH STUDENTS—Contains graphic descriptions of violence and drug use. This book appears to be aimed at a wider demographic than the young adult market […T]he stories contain dark themes… Appropriate for Senior English and Senior English Extension (Literature). Words are used more for suggestion than clarification and the intense imagery provokes disturbing ambiguities that will stimulate analysis.So, consider yourselves warned.
Appropriate for investigating the roles of author, reader, text and world while developing an ‘understanding of the influence of various contexts on the production of texts and on the reading practices through which readers make meaning'.I’d just like to say that if I visit any school in the next twelve months and find that my book is being used there to investigate the roles of author, reader, text and world while developing an ‘understanding of the influence of various contexts on the production of texts and on the reading practices through which readers make meaning', I cannot answer for the consequences.
Whether it is young adult fiction, a fantasy-packed journey or plain reality mirroring the brutally taxing lives being led by the middle class today, her tales are certainly unique and exceptional. Based in Sydney, she has homed on to the wilds of Australia and the hardy and often-unforgiving life set that nature there in its bounty visits upon its inhabitants.
The INKYS will be coordinated by the Centre for Youth Literature through insideadog.com.au. A longlist of 20 books will be selected by the Centre (10 Australian and 10 international), and a shortlist will be picked by a panel of young people, insideadog's Lili Wilkinson and Voiceworks editor Ryan Paine.
The shortlist (3 Australian books, 3 international) will then be published on insideadog, and young people will be invited to vote either on the site or by SMS.
The Australian winner will take home the Golden Inky (and a cash prize), and the International winner will take home the Silver Inky.