Journalist and ex-poet Maggie Black has inherited the estate of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Davis Cooper, with whom she corresponded for years, but never met. Maggie is a cosmopolitan woman of the West Coast and Europe, and a child of the Appalachian mountains; she has no interest in the desert. She has an ex-husband she still loves in L.A. And Davis Cooper drowned in the Arizona desert, the victim of a mysterious murder. Maggie has many reasons to stay away. Yet she moves to Cooper's desert home, seeking to unravel the secrets of Cooper and his late lover, the mad painter Anna Naverra. But these, Maggie will discover, are not the desert's only mysteries. Ancient powers are stirring--enigmatic and dangerous spirits that would use humans for their own purposes.
Terri Windling is the most important and influential fantasy editor of the 1980s and 1990s: Her many accomplishments include editing (and often discovering) a pantheon of fantasy gods--Steven Brust, Emma Bull, Charles de Lint, Jane Yolen, and many more. She edits, with Ellen Datlow, the indispensible annual Year's Best Fantasy and Horror and the acclaimed revisionist fairy-tale anthology series that began with Snow White, Blood Red. She has won the World Fantasy Award five times. So it's not too surprising that her first novel, The Wood Wife, is well written, fascinating, insightful, and the winner of the 1997 Mythopoeic Award for Best Novel. --Cynthia Ward
From Publishers Weekly
Winner of five World Fantasy Awards for her editing, Windling (coeditor with Ellen Datlow of the annual Year's Best Fantasy & Horror anthologies) now shows off her writing skills with this strong first novel, a fantasy. When writer Maggie Black learns that her friend and mentor, poet Davis Cooper, has died and left her his house in the arid hills outside Tucson, Ariz., she travels there intending to write his biography and to investigate the mysterious circumstances of his death. Every detail she uncovers about Cooper's past, however, only seems to raise more questions. When Maggie comes home one evening to find that the house has been ransacked, it becomes clear that she's not the only one looking for answers. To solve the puzzle of Cooper's life and death, Maggie will have to outwit the Trickster and the other powerful quasi-human creatures that roam the desert hills and feed on creative energy. Although at times Windling's humans come off as too sensitive and artistic, her Native American spirits comprise an intriguing blend of human folklore and alien emotion. Her debut novel is richly imaginative, a captivating mix of traditional fantasy and magical realism.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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