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Singing Innocence and Experience
by Sonya Taaffe
The Devil's School lies down this way. Lot's wife knows your name. Hearts hang in the scales, flesh and clay are one and the same, and the severed head of Orpheus sings in winter waves. In award-winning poet Sonya Taaffe's first collection of short fiction, the boundaries between worlds dissolve to reveal unmasked harlequins and women made of stars, serpentine plagues and ...more
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Several of the stories in this collection collapse through stylistic pretentiousness, an excess of swooning romanticism, or uninteresting characters. However, there are more than enough successes to warrant optimism about this writer's future. In some of the tales the characters struggle with pain that seems literary and artificial; but "Featherweight" is both grim and very poignant, as is "Shade and Shadow"(and the idea of using Homer's bloody means of summoning the dead as the basis for a mode ...more
May 05, 2008 Bridgett rated it really liked it
I really liked the themes in these stories -- mythology, tarot cards, the underworld, dreams, and so on. The stories and poems are beautifully written and I had to read them very carefully to understand. However, I still often felt confused and had to reread parts. A couple of my favorite stories were Innocence and Experience, because I love unicorns, and Moving Nameless, about Adam's nameless second wife. I hope to reread this collection someday and hopefully understand it better. The notes in ...more
Jun 30, 2007 Genevieve rated it really liked it · review of another edition
Lovely, lyrical stories and poems––generally taking elements of myth and folklore and placing them in a more-or-less modern setting; some secondary-world stuff, too. Some bits are reminiscent of Patricia McKillip, and some bits run very close to my own imagination & writing.