Friday, November 03, 2006

Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link

Link’s stories are the stuff of dreams—they are luminous, unpredictable shape-shifters that illuminate the inner workings of the mind. Like her first collection, Stranger Things Happen, these stories are genre-bending—they lean to the fantastical, but can’t quite be pinned down as fantasy or literary. At their spooky best, you are left bewildered and enchanted. My favorite stories in the collection are “The faery handbag” and the self-titled story which features a television show called ‘The Library.’

I had the good fortune to run into Kelly Link at the library where I work a few weeks ago. More to the point, I dashed after her madly after I saw her exit an elevator. I got red-faced and giddy and asked her to autograph my notebook! She was extremely gracious and kind and calm with my fan-ness; apparently, I am the first person ever to recognize her! But I calmed down once we started talking about restaurants in Amherst and Northampton—where she lives and where I once did (and man, is the food good there—I don’t think I like any Seattle restaurants as much as I liked some of the places there.) And later even sent a deck of cards (with the Magic for Beginners cover) and told me that I made her year! It’s so nice when the authors we like turn out to be really cool human beings.

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