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Wood Wife Paperback – 3 Apr 1997

4.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (3 April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099796910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099796916
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.6 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 673,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

" Distinctive . . . A splendid desert fantasy that flows with its own eerie logic-- arresting, evocative, and well-worked out." -- "Kirkus Reviews" (pointer review)
" This is a novel of muscle and tenderness, of sharp edges and great delights." -- Charles de Lint
" A wonderful, elegant fantasy-- sensuous, fascinating, and eerily spiritual." -- Robert Holdstock


“Distinctive . . . A splendid desert fantasy that flows with its own eerie logic—arresting, evocative, and well-worked out.” —"Kirkus Reviews" (pointer review)
“This is a novel of muscle and tenderness, of sharp edges and great delights.” —Charles de Lint
“A wonderful, elegant fantasy—sensuous, fascinating, and eerily spiritual.” —Robert Holdstock


"Distinctive . . . A splendid desert fantasy that flows with its own eerie logic--arresting, evocative, and well-worked out." --"Kirkus Reviews" (pointer review)
"This is a novel of muscle and tenderness, of sharp edges and great delights." --Charles de Lint
"A wonderful, elegant fantasy--sensuous, fascinating, and eerily spiritual." --Robert Holdstock


Distinctive . . . A splendid desert fantasy that flows with its own eerie logic--arresting, evocative, and well-worked out. "Kirkus Reviews (pointer review)"

This is a novel of muscle and tenderness, of sharp edges and great delights. "Charles de Lint"

A wonderful, elegant fantasy--sensuous, fascinating, and eerily spiritual. "Robert Holdstock"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Terri Windling is a writer, editor, artist, and passionate advocate of fantasy literature. She has won six World Fantasy awards for her editorial work and the Mythopoeic Award for her novel "The Wood Wife." She has edited over thirty anthologies, many in collaboration with Ellen Datlow--including the Snow White, Blood Red adult fairy-tale series, "The Armless Maiden," "Sirens," "The Green Man," and "Swan Sister." She has also written children's books and articles on myth and folklore, and she edits the Endicott Studio Online Journal of Mythic Arts website. She divides her time between homes in Devon, England, and Tucson, Arizona. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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By A Customer on 7 Nov. 1998
Format: Paperback
This is a great book. Set in the modern American West but it has some great British characters too and the whole plot revolves around a murdered poet from Dartmoor. Filled with mythology, art, environmentalism, music, poetry, beautiful descriptions of landscapes and the myths of the land. If you like magical realist fiction like Robert Holdstock (MYTHAGO WOOD) and Alice Hoffman (PRACTICAL MAGIC) or modern western fiction like Barbara Kingsolver (PIGS IN HEAVEN)you will probably love this book too. The author lives in both America and England and the book has a lovely international flavour. I never knew America has so much mythology of its own before reading this book or so many beautiful wild landscapes. THE WOOD WIFE made me want to go to the Arizona desert and see it all for myself. I've never been drawn to deserts but Terri Windling makes desert mountains and canyons seem as mythic as old English woods. I loved all the Red Indian lore too and how it's mixed in together with Celtic lore, showing that stories and myths are really the same the world over and all come from the human heart no matter what the skin colour.
Warning: it's hard to find this book here in the U.K. even though it has won awards and now she has a new big book with Brian Froud. Somebody please tellthe U.K. publisher to get it back in stock!!!! I read a borrowed copy but now I want one of my own. This is the kind of book you read and then want to hand out to ten friends. I can't wait to read her next one.
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Format: Paperback
There is high fantasy, such as Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, urban fantasy as admirably espoused by authors such as Charles de Lint, and this piece, which might be called rural fantasy. Windling mixes elements of Celtic myth, native American folklore, the rarified worlds of poetry and surrealistic painters with the desert setting of the area surrounding Tucson to create a well crafted work of slightly nebulous otherness, an evocation of the mystical, that will resonate with and absorb the reader.
Maggie Black, journalist and sometime poet, divorced but still somewhat in love with her high-profile musician husband, is the main character. Maggie inherits the property of Pulitzer prize winning poet David Cooper upon his mysterious death by drowning (in the desert!). With the idea of writing Cooper's biography, she goes to his home located in the hills above Tucson. Once there, she is slowly drawn into the rhythm of life in the desert, finding beauty in the landscape and the local people, and gradually finding new interpretations of Cooper's most famous poems collectively known as The Wood Wife. From this prosaic beginning, the story slowly adds elements of the fantastic, as Cooper's inspiration for the poems and his lover's surrealistically painted visions of the creatures that populate the area becomes evident.
Maggie's character is well portrayed, that of a somewhat insecure woman slowly finding her own self worth from behind the smothering light of her former husband, finding her own long-buried poetic voice, finding a way to deal with fantastic events and creatures while remaining a practical cosmopolitan woman of today's world. Cooper himself becomes a distinct voice, as we see many of the letters that he wrote when he first settled in the area and was drawn into the area's ambience.
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This book I have read many times and keep it always with me. Having met Terry Windling in England, and having spent quite a bit of time in Arizona around the area this takes place, this story and book has an even deeper meaning to me. Reading it is like going on an adventure.
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Format: Paperback
"The Wood Wife" (Terri Windling) won the world fantasy award for a good reason - it meshes magical realism, faerie myths and the artwork of Brian Froud in a strong tale of old favourites - love, loss, friendship and sacrifice.
Poet Davis Cooper leaves all his posessions to a long time penfriend he has never met. She journeys into his life, slowly unraveling his story, encountering his creations and gathering awareness of the desert's secrets around her.
Characterisations and descriptions are original and vivid, enhancing the mental imagery available to the reader. Recommended.
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I love this book, it's oe I'd grab (along with the cats) if the house was on fire. The everyday world and that of old myth cros and re-cross throughout the story. Contemporary fantasy ad magical realism at its best. Windling's characterisation is excellent, Maggie Black is very real, as are the poems. Thr dead (drunk) poet whose house and work she has inherited is fascinating too, as is the way we learn about him through letters she finds. the spirits of place of the desert who inspired him and his artist wife are very real too - infact it's hard to discern whether they are ordinarily real or not and, in the end, it doesn't amtter and your whole sense of potential and reality is enlarged.

Windling's writing stule is excellent, carries you along with a piquant amount of description that still leaves space for you to see through Maggie's eyes.

An excellent read - shame she hasn't done any other long novels for adults.
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Format: Paperback
I always have a bit of a problem with books about writers or artists and this book has both. My creative English teacher, who first recognised my skill as a writer and poet, taught me to avoid writing about writers, regarding it as self-indulgent. Unfortunately there are a lot of books and art that are self-referential nowadays, indeed it seems to be highly popular with the people who give awards and other accolades. On the face of it I should have had a problem with this book, but I didn't.

Why didn't I? Well, despite being on the face of it about art, it is actually about magic as reality. The poet Davis Cooper and his wife Anna are dead by the time the story begins and yet they are major characters in the book. Cooper's poems and letters punctuate a tale seen primarily from Maggie's point of view, Anna's mystical pictures are a dark presence in the book. The poems and art portray creatures which at first we might believe to be fantastic and archetypal, but during the course of the book are revealed to be real. These creatures are clearly drawn from the Native American myths, but as a Brit I was interested to see that they bore similarities to British mythic figures - such as the horned man and the wild hunt. I was reminded of the work of the British writer Alan Garner, who portrays a modern world in which the old gods are just below the service.

The characters are part of the landscape:
Windmage/Owl Boy: Sky
Rootmage/Root Mother: Earth
Floodmage/Drowned Girl: South etc.

The landscape, the flora and fauna that live within it, are beautifully portrayed in the book. I do not know the desert of the South West, but I felt I was walking through it. The other characters are also well drawn with complex personalities, which at times merge with the mythic.
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