November 8th, 2010
Journalist and former poet Marguerita Black—Maggie to her friends—has inherited the estate of eccentric, drunken, and irascible poet Davis Cooper. She had corresponded with Cooper for many years after he rejected her request to write his biography, but the two never met in person before Cooper’s mysterious death by drowning—in the desert. She heads from her home in cosmpolitan, glittering LA to Cooper’s remote rural home outside of Tucson, intending both to put his things to rights and to do research for her long-delayed biography of the famed poet. What she finds in the arid land, so different from either LA or her childhood home in the Appalachian mountains, is far from what she could have expected. Magic and creatures out of myth and folklore haunt the desert around her, playing with the lives of the other artists and writers living on or near Cooper’s land. Somehow, a true artist—like Cooper, or his long-dead wife, the mad painter Anna Naverra—can influence and shape those spirits. But nothing can control them, and, though many of them are picturesque and even lovely, none of them share anything resembling a human sense of morality. Maggie herself must find her own long-denied creative side and learn to walk the spiral path in order to save herself and her new friends from the spirits’ games and machinations.
Poetic, rich, and evocative, Windling’s award-winning first novel is insightful and captivating. A delightful blend of magic, nature, and art.
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