Monday, September 22, 2008

Nisi Shawl to read in Moscow, Idaho

Nisi Shawl will be read and sign at The Book People, in Moscow, Idaho, on Saturday, October 4, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Book People is located at 521 South Main in downtown Moscow, Idaho. Call (208) 882-7957 for directions, or email

Although I won't be able to make the reading, if you live in Eastern Washington or Western Idaho, you won't want to miss it. Not only is it a treat to hear Nisi read, but I've browsed in that bookstore myself a few times, when visiting friends in Moscow (and spent freely) and can assure you it's got all the charm you expect of a small independent bookstore.

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This exquisitely rendered debut collection of 11 reprints and three originals ranges into the past and future to explore identity and belief in a dazzling variety of settings. “At the Huts of Ajala,” a folktale concerning a girl wrestling with a trickster god before her birth, is full of urgent and delightful imagery, while “Wallamelon” is an elegiac, sophisticated exploration of the Blue Lady myth. Of the several science fiction stories included, the strongest are “Good Boy,” an engrossing experiment in computer psychology, African gods and postcolonial anxiety, and “Shiomah’s Land,” a cross-genre bildungsroman involving a girl who becomes the wife of a goddess. The concluding tale, “The Beads of Ku,” is an utterly arresting, authoritatively delivered tale concerning the diplomacy of marriage and the economy of the land of the dead. The threads of folklore, religious magic, family and the search for a cohesive self are woven with power and lucidity throughout this panorama of race, magic and the body. ---Publishers Weekly, starred review

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