editor's choice

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Foxfire, Wolfskin and Other Stories of Shapeshifting Women is a beautifully produced book, showcasing Sharon Blackie’s rather terrific tales.

Drawing on global female folklore and mythology – from the familiar Snow Queen, immortalised by Hans Christian Andersen, to Croatia’s ‘she wolf’, with its similarities to the Celtic selkies, Slavic Baba Yaga, the creator-goddess turned crone, and the wonderful Scottish/Irish each–uisge (water horse) – this is an original volume of short stories. It focuses on the transformative nature of women in the face of adversity – to survive, create, regenerate.

It’s an empowering read – one that I was particularly interested to review: in part because this has always been an area of great interest to me; in part because I’ve spent a great deal of the last year mired in this subject, as book editor of a feminist volume on global female-centric mythology. And some of those wonderful entities inform Blackie’s writing.

This is great storytelling – imaginative, engaging, often beautiful. More to the point, it’s inspiring – telling of women who find their voice, their courage, their power, women who draw on nature and the environment to avenge, to rise again. What’s not to like? The fact that it comes in great packaging, with lovely illustrations by Helen Nicholson, is an added bonus.

Read it – and please don’t weep.

 

Foxfire, Wolfskin and Other Stories of Shapeshifting Women | Sharon Blackie | September Publishing | 2 October 2019 | Hardback | £14.99

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Acknowledgements: This review is published as part of the virtual book tour. Many thanks to lovely Anne Cater and to the publisher for supplying a review copy and jacket image. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

See also: What’s in a hill? Tom Cox’;  ‘My Judy Garland life’;By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’; ‘Yvonne Battle-Fenton’s Rememembered‘; ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘; ‘We should all be feminists‘; The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’;Permission by Saskia Vogel‘; ‘Lisa Ko’s The Leavers, Dialogue’s brilliant debut; ‘RW Kwon’s The Incendiaries’; ‘Beauty in translation – Roxanne Bouchard’s French Canadian noir‘; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”‘; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love).

 

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