A middle-aged housewife whose rebellious inner child runs away with her talent transforms herself into a fearless young gay man in this winner of the James Tiptree, Jr. Award
Larque Harootunian is having a midlife crisis like no other—but then again, there is much about the frumpy, middle-aged housewife and mother that could never be considered ordinary. Larque’s lifelong ability to generate “dopplegangers,” for example—physical manifestations of her thoughts and emotions—has been a constant source of stress. And now she is being tormented by Skylark, a re-creation of her younger self, an angry inner child who is tormenting Larque about abandoning her youthful ambitions while running away with her artistic abilities, thereby depriving the older Larque of a livelihood as a painter of kitsch.
But perhaps this is Larque’s opportunity to explore her options. Acquiescing to Sky’s demands that she change herself, Larque tries on a series of different personas—to the consternation of her mother, husband, and teenage sons—and finds her way to Popular Street. There, among the devil-may-care misfits, Larque can be Lark, a handsome young gay man, and quite possibly discover what her life is really about.
In her critically acclaimed contemporary fantasy, multiple award–winning author Nancy Springer breaks through boundaries while provocatively comingling the real and the surreal. Larque on the Wing is a marvel—a moving, funny, surprising, and transcendent tale of one woman’s strange quest to come to terms with who she truly is.
“Springer’s best book yet . . . A beautiful/rough/raunchy dose of magics.” —Locus
“An offbeat contemporary tale that owes much to magical realism . . . Springer effectively uses fantasy to evoke midlife soul-searching, and Larque’s self-exploration is filled with moments of authentic joy and crushing sorrow. . . . She has produced an engrossing novel about gender and self-formation that should appeal to readers both in and outside the SF/fantasy audience.” —Publishers Weekly
“[Nancy Springer is] someone special in the fantasy field.” —Anne McCaffrey
Nancy Springer is the award-winning author of more than fifty books, including the Enola Holmes and Rowan Hood series and a plethora of novels for all ages, spanning fantasy, mystery, magic realism, and more. She received the James Tiptree, Jr. Award for Larque on the Wing and the Edgar Award for her juvenile mysteries Toughing It and Looking for Jamie Bridger, and she has been nominated for numerous other honors. Springer currently lives in the Florida Panhandle, where she rescues feral cats and enjoys the vibrant wildlife of the wetlands.
Best known for her traditional fantasy novels, Springer ( Apocalypse ) here offers an offbeat contemporary tale that owes much to magical realism. Larque Harootunian is having a midlife crisis, taking stock of her comfortable life as a wife, mother and painter of chintzy pastels for the tourist market in Soudersburg, Pa. But Larque isn't like other 40-year-olds. All her life she's been generating what she calls ``doppelgangers,'' psychic manifestations of her thoughts, and now she's made one of her preadolescent self, who chides Larque about settling for a life that bears little resemblance to her youthful imaginings. Larque then begins a journey into her own personality that culminates with her transformation into an attractive young gay man. (The narrative treats such surreal goings-on--of which there are many--as commonplace.) In the end, Larque must weigh the attractions of this existence against the good aspects of her actual life. Springer effectively uses fantasy to evoke midlife soul-searching, and Larque's self-exploration is filled with moments of authentic joy and crushing sorrow. Though the author occasionally falls off the narrow tightrope stretched between the real and the surreal, she has produced an engrossing novel about gender and self-formation that should appeal to readers both in and outside the SF/fantasy audience.