Perfect for readers of George Saunders, Karen Russell, Neil Gaiman, and Aimee Bender, Magic for Beginners is an exquisite, dreamlike dispatch from a virtuoso storyteller who can do seemingly anything. Kelly Link reconstructs modern life through an intoxicating prism, conjuring up unforgettable worlds with humor and humanity. These stories are at once ingenious and deeply moving. They leave the reader astonished and exhilarated.
Includes an exclusive conversation between Kelly Link and Joe Hill
Praise for Magic for Beginners
“A sorceress to be reckoned with.”—The New York Times Book Review
“[Kelly] Link’s stories . . . play in a place few writers go, a netherworld between literature and fantasy, Alice Munro and J. K. Rowling, and Link finds truths there that most authors wouldn’t dare touch.”—Lev Grossman, Time
“She is unique and should be declared a national treasure.”—Neil Gaiman
“Funny, scary, surprising and powerfully moving within the span of a single story or even a single sentence.”—Karen Russell, The Miami Herald
“This is what certain readers live for: fiction that makes the world instead of merely mimicking it.”—Audrey Niffenegger
“[These] exquisite stories mix the aggravations and epiphanies of everyday life with the stuff that legends, dreams and nightmares are made of.”—Laura Miller, Salon, Best Books of the Decade
“A major talent . . . Like George Saunders, [Link] can’t dismiss the hidden things that tap on our windows at night.”—The Boston Globe
“The most darkly playful voice in American fiction.”—Michael Chabon
“I think she is the most impressive writer of her generation.”—Peter Straub
“Link’s world is one to savor. [Grade:] A”—Entertainment Weekly
“Intricate, wildly imaginative and totally wonderful . . . will fill you with awe and joy.”—NPR
The nine stories in Link's second collection are the spitting image of those in her acclaimed debut, Stranger Things Happen: effervescent blends of quirky humor and pathos that transform stock themes of genre fiction into the stuff of delicate lyrical fantasy. In "Stone Animals," a house's haunting takes the unusual form of hordes of rabbits that camp out nightly on the front lawn. This proves just one of several benign but inexplicable phenomena that begin to pull apart the family newly moved into the house as surely as a more sinister supernatural influence might. The title story beautifully captures the unpredictable potential of teenage lives through its account of a group of adolescent schoolfriends whose experiences subtly parallel events in a surreal TV fantasy series. Zombies serve as the focus for a young man's anxieties about his future in "Some Zombie Contingency Plans" and offer suggestive counterpoint to the lives of two convenience store clerks who serve them in "The Hortlak." Not only does Link find fresh perspectives from which to explore familiar premises, she also forges ingenious connections between disparate images and narrative approaches to suggest a convincing alternate logic that shapes the worlds of her highly original fantasies.