MOJO: Conjure Stories

Nalo Hopkinson, Editor, Luisah Teish, Introduction by . Warner Aspect $13.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-446-67929-9

The 19 stories in this all-original anthology, edited by the author of Skin Folk, skillfully blend West African magic, fantasy and horror, along with plain old-fashioned readability. Some deal with familiar aspects of that magic in unfamiliar ways, such as the zombies of Steven Barnes's "Heartspace" and Neil Gaiman's "Bitter Grounds." Others explore social issues, like Tananarive Due's disturbing "Trial Day," which highlights injustice against African-Americans during the 1920s. "The Prowl" (Gregory Frost), "The Horsemen and the Morning Star" (Barbara Hambly) and "How Sukie Cross de Big Wata" (Sheree Renee Thomas) offer grim views of slavery days. Marcia Douglas's somewhat tongue-in-cheek "Notes from a Writer's Book of Cures and Spells" amuses more than it unsettles. A.M. Dellamonica applies magic to food in "Cooking Creole," while Barth Anderson's "Lark till Dawn, Princess" takes place on the drag queen circuit with an assist from a magical Elvis impersonator. Since some authors develop their themes or handle dialect better than others, the mojo level varies from story to story. Luisah Teish (Jambalaya: The Natural Woman's Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals) provides an introduction. (Apr. 1)

Reviewed on: 03/03/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
Hardcover - 978-0-446-53075-0
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