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As part of a public execution, a young boy forlornly helps to sing his sister down…A servant learns about grace and loyalty from a mistress who would rather dance with Gypsies than sit on her throne…A terrifying encounter with a demonic angel gives a young man the strength he needs to break free of his oppressor…On a bleak and dreary afternoon a gleeful shooting spree leads to tragedy for a desperate clown unable to escape his fate.
In each of Margo Lanagan’s ten extraordinary stories, human frailty is put to the test by the implacable forces of dark and light, man and beast. Black Juice offers glimpses into familiar, shadowy worlds that push the boundaries of the spirit and leave the mind haunted with the knowledge that black juice runs through us all.
Tender Morsels is a dark and vivid story, set in two worlds and worrying at the border between them. Liga lives modestly in her own personal heaven, a world given to her in exchange for her earthly life. Her two daughters grow up in this soft place, protected from the violence that once harmed their mother. But the real world cannot be denied forever—magicked men and wild bears break down the borders of Liga’s refuge. Now, having known Heaven, how will these three women survive in a world where beauty and brutality lie side by side?
Margo Lanagan’s Electrifying stories take place in worlds not quite our own, and yet each one illuminates what it is to be human. They are stories of yearning for more, and learning to live with what you have. Stories that show the imprint love leaves on us all.
If you think you don’t like short fiction, that a story can’t have the depth or impact of a novel, then you haven’t read Margo Lanagan. A writer this startling and this original doesn’t come along very often. So for anyone who likes to be surprised, touched, unsettled, intrigued, or scared senseless, prepare to be dazzled by what a master storyteller can do in a few short pages.