Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Beastly Bride

Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling’s new anthology, The Beastly Bride: Tales of the Animal People, features a short story Bear’s Bride by Johanna Sinisalo, one of the most acclaimed Finnish sf writers. She is in good company: the anthology also has stories by Lucius Shepherd, Jane Yolen, Tanith Lee, Peter S. Beagle, Jeffrey Ford, and others, with “selected decorations by Charles Vess”. Green Man Review writes about Johanna’s story,
Johanna Sinisalo explores the roots of Finnish myth in “Bear’s Bride,” employing ancient traditional verses so seamlessly that until I read the author’s note I assumed she herself had composed them for the story. After reading said note, I found the story beginning to ring in my recollection with heightened mythic resonances. With that awareness in place going in, a good coming-of-age tale, set among a Finnish ur-tribe, may just refine itself to greatness. The “Mythically Correct” Award in this collection goes to Sinisalo, hands down.

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