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Cloud & Ashes:  Three Winter's Tales
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Cloud & Ashes: Three Winter's Tales

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Author: Greer Gilman
Publisher: Small Beer Press, 2009
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Book Type: Collection
Genre: Fantasy
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Synopsis

In the eighteen years since her Crawford Award-winning debut novel Moonwise, Greer Gilman's writing has only grown more complex and entrancing, more beguiling and inventive.

Gilman's second novel, Cloud & Ashes, is a slow whirlwind of language, a button box of words, a mythic Joycean fable that will invite immersion, study, revisitation, and delight. To step into her world is to witness the bright flashes, witty turns, and shadowy corners of the human imagination, limned with all the detail and humor of a master stylist. In Gilman's intricate prose, myth and fable live, breathe, and dance as they do nowhere else.

Cloud & Ashes collects three Winter's Tales ("Jack Daw's Pack," "A Crowd of Bone," and the longest, "Unleaving") centering on folk traditions, harvest rites, the seasons, gods, and trickster figures.

In "Unleaving," Margaret, granddaughter of a goddess, escapes from the underworld into the human realm, Cloud. She is pursued, and, in escaping, brings about an epochal change, separating the kingdom of myth from the human world.

Cloud & Ashes is a work that reaches back to the richness of Shakespeare-Gilman understands that the depth of Shakespeare's work lies in his range-and the reader will rejoice in her counterplay of high myth and bawdry even while being drawn into the world of Cloud. Inventive, playful, and erudite, Gilman is an archeolexicologist rewriting language itself in these long-awaited tales.


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