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RED SPIKES by Margo Lanagan


by Margo Lanagan

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 9th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-375-84320-4
Publisher: Knopf

Lanagan’s searing prose and bizarre, whimsical vision once again pull together in a fascinating, baffling and rewarding collection. Ten stories, linked by recurring imagery of birth, childhood and otherworlds and by primarily first-person narratives comprise her third collection. From the opening, “Baby Jane,” in which a young boy must deliver a baby to a toy that comes alive, to the closing, “Daughter of the Clay,” in which a fairy changeling returns to her original world only to find it’s not so easy to belong, each tale touches upon some mystery and truth of life in language and setting with metaphorical and internal resonance. Other tales concern monkeys vying for leadership, souls stuck in purgatory and a truly horrifying version of “Wee Willie Winkie.” All are imbued with sadness and weight; Lanagan chooses her words so carefully that each sentence has the effect of a stone in a still pond. Bound to baffle and delight, this is not for everyone, but will reward the patient reader. (Short stories/fantasy. YA)