Kelly Link | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Kelly Link 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Kelly Link's short stories are the wickedest gifts I've gotten so far from the genre-benders--writers who don't cleave to pop or litfic conventions, read in a variety of genres, and aren't content to borrow from any one formula. Link's first collection, Stranger Things Happen (2001), feeds on horror, mystery, romance, comics, travel writing, fantasy, and sci-fi. While she dwells on details both realistic and fantastic with salacious precision, her fortes are myth and fairy tale. More than dressed-up reworkings of old fables, Link's stories--full of broken families and youthful fornicators--at first seem to stride boldly away from timeworn roads. But as each piece reveals its internal logic, you realize she's just hacking a new path through the same old dark forest and--too late!--you're already awake and crying in astonishment, trapped in a thicket of ancient fears, obsessions, and beauty. A limber, sexy sister to Poe, Link's not married to gloom--she will on occasion point to the light--but she's careful to warn against facile happily-evers. In "Travels With the Snow Queen," for example, Link's barefoot heroine journeys in search of the boy who left her, pulling shards of a shattered looking glass--her map--from her soles along the way. "Fairy tales aren't easy on the feet," she says. But, she argues, to travel in comfort, with goose-drawn sleigh and pea-free mattress, is penny-wise but in the end pound-foolish when it comes to pain. Link and Karen Joy Fowler, author of Sister Noon, read at 6:45 PM Tuesday, May 27, at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington in Evanston, 847-866-0300.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Maria Daniels.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Ann Sterzinger

  • The List: May 13-19, 2010

    The List: May 13-19, 2010

    Critics' Choices and other notable concerts: Gaslamp Killer, Julieta Venegas, Sonoi, Torche, Plants and Animals, Steve Dawson, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and more
    • May 13, 2010
  • The List: April 22-28, 2010

    The List: April 22-28, 2010

    Critics' Choices and other notable shows: Reflection Eternal, Peter Brötzmann & Hamid Drake, Céu, Drop the Lime, the Styrenes, and other notable shows
    • Apr 22, 2010
  • The List: April 1-7, 2010

    The List: April 1-7, 2010

    Critics' Choices and other notable shows: Xiu Xiu, High on Fire, Small Black, Orquestra Contemporanea de Olinda, Little Women, Titus Andronicus, and more
    • Apr 1, 2010
  • More »

Agenda Teaser

Galleries & Museums
October 23
Performing Arts
A Doll's House Writers Theatre
September 25

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories