White Cat, Black Dog
Seven modern fairytales from Pulitzer Prize finalist Kelly Link, featuring illustrations by award-winning artist Shaun Tan.
Leaving behind the enchanted castles, deep, dark woods and gingerbread cottages of fairytales for airport waiting rooms, alien planets and a cannabis farm run by a team of hospitable cats, White Cat, Black Dog offers a fresh take on the stories that you thought you knew. Here you’ll find stoner students, failing actors and stranded professors questing for love, revenge or even just a sense of purpose. Poised on the edges between magic, modernity and mundanity, this collection will remind you once again of why Kelly Link is incomparable in the realm of short fiction.
Don’t stray from the path!
Not without Kelly Link as your guide.
‘Uncanny brilliance’ Sunday Times
‘An expert illusionist’ New Yorker
‘Link is a genius’ LA Times
‘Thrilling… glittering’ Spectator
‘A short story sorceress’ Washington Post
‘Joyful… awe-inspiring’ Jessamine Chan
‘Contains all the good stuff’ Bustle
‘Magically transporting’ Salon
‘Wonderfully told’ BuzzFeed
‘Liable to linger in your mind’ Today
‘Enchanting’ Publishers Weekly
‘Wondrous’ Stephen Graham Jones
‘This book is sublime’ Emma Straub
‘Enchanting… unsettling’ Kiersten White
‘Glorious and bewitching’ Clare Beams
Tales you live inside’ Victor Lavalle
‘Luminous… surreal’ Kate Mascarenhas
A billionaire is a king, a housesitting gig is a portal, and fans of 'Station Eleven,' speculative fiction or simply anyone who needs a brief escape from the hard, cold world will find the prose here magically transporting. Under Link's hand, the stories promise to be wild, wicked and utterly unforgettable. -- Alison Stine * Salon * Kelly Link is the master of the modern fairytale. This collection of short stories is deceptively easy to read - you'll be turning the pages of strange events quickly, but the stories and their strange events are liable to linger in your mind. * Today * Link's most direct engagement with the fairytales and folk legends that have always inspired her work... as intense, absorbing and weird as the best dreams * The Guardian * Like Angela Carter, Link understands the psychological (and narratological) powers of her raw material, and makes thrilling shapes while also dissecting modern society . . . White Cat, Black Dog marks a glittering new height in the literature of the weird * The Spectator * 'MacArthur Genius Grant fellow Kelly Link's latest collection reworks seven fairy tales... in fantastic modern contexts. Hansel and Gretel must escape a very different sort of hunger on a planet of vampires; a house-sitting gig is the setting for a portal fantasy; and the white cat of the title turns out to run a weed dispensary. There are layovers in airports (familiar) and wealthy fathers sending sons on absurd quests - also familiar, but in a much more bone-deep way in the retellings of such symbolic stories' * LitHub * The maestro fantasist of short fiction brings us more mystical stories - of animals, human and not, and the unattainable desires that make up all our lives. Each story reworks a folk tale, sourced from the Brothers Grimm, Scottish ballads, and beyond, then sprints off in surprising new directions. The collection contains all the good stuff: doppelgangers right and left, puppies that might be foxes, foxes that might be embroidery, and divine swimming sessions in a dinky hotel pool.' * Bustle * Link refashions classic fairy tales, myths, and adventure sagas for contemporary settings in her wondrous collection.... [she] delivers the kind of off-the-cuff oddness her readers expect, and her reworkings take the clockwork of familiar stories and give them bloody, beating hearts... This is enchanting. * Publishers Weekly * Reading Kelly Link makes my heart burst with gladness. Perfect for longtime fans as well as new readers, these seven mischievous, nimble, joyful, wise, awe-inspiring, soul-enriching, positively Linkian fairy tales will make you feel like you're discovering the power of stories for the very first time and will expand your capacity for enchantment in our jaded world. White Cat, Black Dog is a book I will read, reread, and treasure all my life. -- Jessamine Chan Link has produced a body of work that is formally original and emotionally rich... in her hands, the Grimms' enchanted animals are still enchanted animals, but straight princes and princesses are fabulous gay men and lesbian professionals, the ominous woods are airports with endless delays or post-apocalyptic landscapes... This is fiction that pulls you swiftly into its world and then holds you completely, lingering like an especially intense dream * Kirkus * Reading Kelly Link is stepping onto a slide that spirals you down into the heart of the kaleidoscope, splashes you into a technicolor fairy tale, and either makes you smile wide enough that you cry, or the other way around. Her storytelling is wondrous and fanciful, full of longing and terror. -- Stephen Graham Jones Kelly Link's stories are spooky and funny, grounded and floating, and, as always, completely her own. There is no mistaking a story by Kelly Link. This book is sublime. -- Emma Straub Link is one of America's most respected - and original - short story writers... Her latest book contains her updated takes on seven fairy tales, featuring a cast of characters who are all searching for something elusive. * The OC Register * If I could find a way to use every superlative in a never-ending Borges-ian Carter-esque sentence, I would. Kelly Link's stories are generous with their intellect, wit, humanity, and the hope and dread of what was, of what might be, of what is. White Cat, Black Dog is a marvel -- Paul Tremblay Kelly Link's stories wriggle under your skin and take up a permanent home there, and somehow you're grateful to be infested. An enchanting collection from one of the most astonishingly funny, unsettling, insightful, and brilliant writers of our time -- Kiersten White With White Cat, Black Dog, Kelly Link puts her sui generis magic to work on the older magic of fairy tales, forging something revelatory. These stories delight and terrify and seem to ask us, Yes, this is the way the world works - haven't you been paying attention? I am now. What a glorious and bewitching gift this book is. -- Clare Beams If Kelly Link writes a book, I am reading that book. White Cat, Black Dog is a glorious book, full of grand journeys across times, lives and realities. These are big stories, tales you dive into, live inside, and come out the other end changed. Kelly Link is the Alice Munro of the fantastic. And we readers are so lucky to have more of her writing in our lives. -- Victor LaValle A luminous and unsettling collection of fables, with flashes of surreal humour -- Kate Mascarenhas The Brothers Grimm meet Black Mirror meets Alice in Wonderland in White Cat, Black Dog. Kelly Link, a MacArthur Grant recipient and Pulitzer Prize finalist, is an expert in the art of darker, sci-fi-infused magical realism and shows off her skills in her new short story collection. In seven remixed fairy tales, Link delivers wit and dreamlike intrigue. One story follows a cat who runs a weed dispensary and enchants the three sons of an aging billionaire. In another, a reimagined version of "Hansel and Gretel," a brother and sister wait for their parents to return to an alien planet where vampires and handmaidens run amok. And even "Snow-White and Rose-Red" gets an update in which a grad student housesits a cabin - and is visited by beguiling guests. * TIME * Link displays her usual uncanny brilliance...in these generous reimaginations that reflect our own world, darkly * The Sunday Times * Link is a genius, and not just according to the MacArthur Foundation. A small-press publisher, bookstore owner and producer of a zine, she consistently publishes stories that upend expectations. In her new collection, the author both reinvents and reclaims fairy tales, and the results are pure modern folklore - eccentric, taut and tapped into the collective subconscious. Dive in to meet Hansel and Gretel on a planet of vampires, as well as a cat who runs a weed dispensary. * LA Times * There's a distinct pleasure in discovering what kind of monster is waiting to be encountered next * SFX * Right up there with the very best stories she has ever written * Book Munch * 'Link has already proven herself the fairy godmother of fairy-tale retellings in her previous four short story collections, expertly updating and humanizing them into enchanting, perfectly contained vignettes. Her latest collection so seamlessly entwines the real with the surreal that the stories threaten to slip into reality, resonating long after reading... Thought-provoking and wonderfully told' * BuzzFeed * 'In the stories of Kelly Link, strange things happen in otherwise ordinary settings. Her stories do not abide by the rules of conflict and resolution - they make sense in the way that dreams make sense.' * New York Times * Link is a genius, and not just according to the MacArthur Foundation. A small-press publisher, bookstore owner and producer of a zine, she consistently publishes stories that upend expectations. In her new collection, the author both reinvents and reclaims fairy tales, and the results are pure modern folklore - eccentric, taut and tapped into the collective subconscious. Dive in to meet Hansel and Gretel on a planet of vampires, as well as a cat who runs a weed dispensary. * LA Times * 'Kelly Link is a writer whose work is easy to revere and difficult to explain. She began her career by publishing stories in sci-fi and fantasy magazines in the mid-nineteen-nineties, just when the boundary between genre fiction and the literary mainstream was beginning to erode, and, in the years since, her work has served to speed that erosion along....Through it all, the essential qualities of her work have remained unchanged. To those familiar with her writing, ' Linkian' is as distinct an adjective as 'Lynchian,' signifying a stylistic blend of ingenuousness and sophistication, bright flashes of humor alongside dark currents of unease, and a deep engagement with genre tropes that comes off as both sincere and subversive . . . To read Link is to place oneself in the hands of an expert illusionist, entering a world where nothing is ever quite what it seems.' -- Kristen Roupenian, The New Yorker 'Kelly Link is something of a short story sorceress. The 2018 MacArthur fellow refuses rules, subverts conventions, and in so doing, delivers unpredictable adventure. "White Cat, Black Dog," her fifth collection, is a set of seven slipstream short stories that edge, in length, toward novelettes. Where her earlier collections were anchored by a zany, wondrous youthfulness (as well as vampires, faeries, and other fantastical genre staples), this one seems to convey: Never fear, aging has entertaining horrors all its own.' * Washington Post * Classic fable retold with a modern twist, breathing new life into old favourites with Kelly's signature imagination and wit * Damian Barr's Literary Salon * Gives Black Mirror, Alice in Wonderland and the Brothers Grimm a run for their money * ES Magazine * Overflowing with beauty and stinging ferocity...White Cat, Black Dog contains the most wonderful storytelling, of the deepest dark kind * LoveReading, Star Book * Shows just how much life there is left in fairy tale retellings if the writer is bold and inventive enough. The stories delight, frighten and disrupt in equal measure, and serve as an ample reminder of Link's remarkable talents * The Fantasy Hive * A selection of fairytales for the modern world... Link's signature weird and uncanny style results in a delightful collection * The Sunday Times * Link has carved out a unique niche, somewhere where the strands of fantasy, weird fiction, and the speculative combine and become inextricably entangled. These are stories in which the fairy tale and the mundane world we live in overlap and mix together, rendering both of them freshly uncanny * Tor.com *
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