Review of the Day: The Coyote Road – Trickster Tales (Part Two)
(CONTINUED FROM PART ONE)
Some authors had an easier time with the assignment than others. Patricia McKillip’s story is good, but I didn’t quite see how the main character embodied the trickster aesthetic, aside from just being a person who tricks people. McKillip herself notes in that she found writing about tricksters to be "very difficult". Others slipped into the trickster motif easily. I found the Author’s Notes at the end of each tale to be particularly insightful when it came to locating each author’s influences. Theodora Goss mentions that her inspiration came, in part, from "that boyfriend you had in high school who was probably in Drama Club and not much else, unless he had a band, and who idolized someone impossible like Jim Morrison or Jack Kerouac, and who tied his hair, dyed black, back in a ponytail, and who was fearfully attractive but, as your mother told you, trouble. Yes, that one."
It’s a mix, of course. There are a lot of female tricksters in this collection. Far more than you’ll find in folktales and myths, I’d wager. In the Introduction, Terri Windling makes the point that, "Such wily women are rare, however, and seldom do they enjoy the cultural status of their masculine counterparts." Still, it had to have been irresistible. And while some authors know their trickster history and play off of it, others conjure up characters entirely out of their own heads without referencing any one land or person directly. In the end it’s a magnificent series of tales, engrossing and engaging by turns. An ideal gift for the person entranced by folklore, the person who loves trickster tales, or just any person who likes a good story once in a while. Recommended for any and for all.
Misc: Listen to some of the contributors reading their stories on the WBAI radio show Hour of the Wolf.
Flickr pics from the reading some of the contributors did at Books of Wonder and another reading done later here.
Filed under: Reviews
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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