LARQUE ON THE WING by Nancy Springer


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 Springer continues the marked improvement she showed in Apocalypse (1989) with this winning, precisely rendered foray into magic realism. Middle-aged Larque, a painter of much-in-demand cutesy scenes, has the ability to produce doppelgÑngers, ghost-like partial versions of herself and others. One such, named Sky, is Larque in her early teens: dirty, resentful, emotionally damaged. Larque dislikes Sky since the waif reminds her of her lost honesty and innocence, and she begins to suffer artist's block. Then Larque finds a way to step out of mundane Soudersberg, Pennsylvania, and into the altogether magical Popular Street, where she meets Shadow, black-clad, gay, whose past is a blank and whose talent is to remold a person according to their inmost physical and mental desires. Under Shadow's ministrations, Larque becomes Lark, a muscular young man with detachable breasts and an add-on penis! Complications ensue: Larque's easygoing husband, Hoot, rejects Lark in horror; Lark visits Florrie, her mother, who ``blinks'' away things she doesn't like or want to acknowledge--and blinks Lark away into a blowzy, brainless, do-gooder housewife; Shadow's partner, Argent, turns out to be Larque's father, who fled years ago; Sky falls sick, and only by understanding and feeding the needs of her young self can Larque discover the best of her maturity. Charming, eccentric work where the bright, playful narrative enfolds a thoughtful and significant interior: irresistible.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-688-13175-1
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1993


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