Very Strange Expressions of Christianity

They don’t look very Christian—those strange faces made of leaves, and those women displaying cartoonishly enlarged genitals on the walls of medieval churches. In his article for First Things, British folklorist and historian Francis Young makes a compelling argument that the odd, seemingly pagan expressions of Christianity that are found throughout Europe have more to do … More Very Strange Expressions of Christianity

Outside Over There; OR Goblin Weddings, Changelings, and the Otherworld

I’d shelved the book numerous times as a Children’s Librarian. But it took Victor LaValle’s creepy New York modern fairy tale, The Changeling, to get me to open its pages and actually read it.  (It looks vaguely familiar; perhaps I had opened it when scouring the shelves for a book to read aloud for storytime … More Outside Over There; OR Goblin Weddings, Changelings, and the Otherworld

Changelings, Trolls, and Vampires [Book Review of Victor LaValle’s The Changeling]

Folklore meets the modern world in Victor Lavalle’s enthralling book The Changeling. A stunning achievement, The Changeling is well-crafted literary fantasy, full of suspense, emotion, and wit. Although obviously folklore-infused, Lavalle’s book is more horror or psychological thriller than fantasy or urban fantasy (which I personally found disappointing).  Other readers will have different preferences and … More Changelings, Trolls, and Vampires [Book Review of Victor LaValle’s The Changeling]

My Red Shoes

Is there power in the color red? Are red shoes inherently magical? I put on my new mud-stomping, shorter-than-Wellingtons, prettier-than-duck-shoes sloggers, and suddenly, I wanted to dance. I’m no Dorothy. I din’t inherit through the death of a witch. I bought them for walking our dog in our mud-pit of a backyard. All winter long … More My Red Shoes

Tam Lin: A Faerie Story For Mortals and Christians

A Sacramental Tam Lin: A Response to Leah Libresco Literary Correspondence   In the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, it was common for authors to correspond to one another, to offer support or to voice disagreement through letters.  I was fortunate to meet Leah Libresco at the Doxacon convention last year—I spoke on fairy tales—and I … More Tam Lin: A Faerie Story For Mortals and Christians