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TENDER MORSELS by Margo Lanagan Kirkus Star

TENDER MORSELS

By Margo Lanagan

Age Range: 15 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-375-84811-7
Publisher: Knopf

Lanagan’s debut U.S. novel after three spectacular short-story collections, including the Printz Honor-winning Black Juice (2005), scintillates, titillates and altogether wows. Her trademark linguistic gyrations bring life to this reimagined, utterly fresh take on “Snow White and Rose Red.” When an unknown power grants Liga her own personal heaven after she is first abused by her father and then gang-raped, she unknowingly ruptures the reality of St. Olafred’s. Weaving together multiple characters—Liga, her two daughters, several men transformed into bears by magic gone awry and more—this is ultimately a tale of how the finite worlds of experience bind the infinite worlds of possibility. The author creates worlds with a sure hand, incorporating magic as well as the mundane, ugly realities: jeering boys, poverty, gossip. Similarly, her characters are fully realized people who also fulfill their fairy-tale roles. By turns horrifying and ribald, witty and wise, this tour de force of a novel almost demands multiple readings to fully appreciate each of its layers. Not to be missed. (Fantasy. 15 & up)