cover image Singing Innocence and Experience

Singing Innocence and Experience

Sonya Taaffe, Author, Tim Pratt, Introduction by . Prime $29.95 (276p) ISBN 978-0-8095-4479-0

Taaffe's first story collection offers evocative reimaginings of myths and iconic images, from unicorns, golems and ghosts to tragic Orpheus and Eurydice. "Shade and Shadow," "Kouros" and "Featherweight" explore the range of sacrifices some make for love. Humans in love with merfolk find trust is the most important aspect of their relationships in "A Maid on the Shore" and "Till Human Voices Wake Us," while the gift of freedom proves the most precious in the title tale and "Clay Lies Still." One of the few stories not set on contemporary Earth, "Time May Be" asks haunting questions about fate and the nature of humanity. At times the richness and sheer density of the author's wordcraft goes slightly over the top, as in the sensual "Nights with Belilah" and the tragic "Retrospective." Despite the presence of a few too many earnest young student-artists and musicians obsessed with love or knowledge, Taaffe's gift for evoking mood and revealing hard truths beautifully is nothing short of marvelous. (Dec.)