One of the most outstanding
fantasies to surface this year is Kersten Hamilton's Tyger
Tyger . This dynamic re-imagining of the Irish
mythos in modern-day Chicago is loaded with convincing
romantic tension, intelligent, three-dimensional
characters, and atmospheric dark power. We're excited
that Kersten has stepped up to do a hard hitting Weekly
Top 2 interview today.
idea of voice as a conduit of power is a deep current in
Tyger Tyger, whether through Aiden, Fear
Doirich, or Mr. Wylltson. Are there any passages of the
book, which if read aloud with the right cadence, will
cause mysterious things to happen?
Kersten:Several. A certain passage, when read
aloud, envelops you instantly in the feel of old magic
and smell of new books. Another produces an
irresistible urge to kiss an Irishman. Awkward if you
are reading aloud in a manly Irish pub.
A few darker passages are not so benign. Read them
aloud only in daylight, because they will loose the
shadows from the walls. If you have been so foolish as
to read them aloud at night, and feel a chill hand
press through your skin and bone into your mind—sing
Padraig’s Shield in Old Irish at once, and cry out to
the Creator of creation. It is your only hope.
Oh, and I should mention that one passage, if read
with passion, conviction, and pitch–perfect diction,
actually opens a door into Mag Mell.
I’m not telling which one.
Oh so you're throwing the gauntlet down to our readers!
All right then, the first reader to submit
the correct passage to us (don't read it aloud yourself,
our own Margaux Depue has gallantly volunteered to test
the passages for us!) will win a $15.00 gift
certificate. Now then, speaking of the power of voice,
will other bards from the western tradition, such as
Orpheus or Taliesin, play a role in future books?
Kersten: It’s not possible to spin a Celtic tale
without a respectful nod to Taliesin and at least a wink
and nudge to Thomas the Rhymer. Orpheus does not figure
into the books, but Homer, the blind poet whose name might
mean "hostage," or "he who accompanies" does figure into
Kenny: In book one of The Goblin Wars, Tyger Tyger,
there is a pretty interesting truck, Raynor's Brynhilda.
I'm wondering if the hero of your fabulous picture book, Red
Truck, will make a cameo in book two of The Goblin
Kersten: Well…Red Truck’s driver is
Italian, as you can tell by the curl of his mustache and
the fact that Valeria Petrone, the illustrator, lives in
Italy. Abby, Teagan’s best friend in Tyger Tyger, is
Italian as well. Abby’s family is connected; you know
what I’m saying? I’m sure she has at least one
mustachioed, tow truck–driving cousin who could make a
vehicle disappear. As a night job, of course. After he’d
spent a difficult day rescuing school buses.
Tyger is filled with a wonderfully in depth reworking of
the Celtic mythos. Are there any books or versions of the
mythos that you would recommend lovers of Tyger Tyger
pursue? Did Lady Gregory and Yeats get it right, for
Kersten: For people who love wandering through
folklore, I would suggest James Macpherson’s The Poems
of Ossian and Related Works and Alexander Carmichael’s
Carmina Gadelica: Hymns & Incantations.
As for Lady
Gregory, she understood the nature of the creatures we
are dealing with very well. "The Sidhe," she wrote,
"have been like the Angels, from before the making of
the earth." She knew that they were not one race but a
chimera of peoples, cobbled together by the Dark Man’s
will. Goblin kind. Lady Gregory saw ample evidence that
"those who have received their touch waste away from
this world," but avoided this fate by collecting her
information only second–hand, from "many who have seen
them and some who have known their power."
Yeats, however, was not so lucky. His life was
sidhe–haunted. He wrote: "Most of the Gaelic poets, down
to quite recent times, have had a Leanhaun Shee (Sidhe),
for she gives inspiration to her slaves and is indeed
the Gaelic muse -- this malignant fairy. Her lovers, the
Gaelic poets, died young. She grew restless and carried
them away to other worlds, for death does not destroy
Yeats was wrong only in the impression that all Leanhaun
Sidhe are female. Some-the most powerful, intriguing,
and enchanting—are definitely male.
Kersten: You bet. And let me know if Margaux
disappears. You'll probably want to develop a plan of
Kenny: I will!
Here they are! Our weekly picks for
the two best: two hardcover, two paperback, and two
children's books. The very best new arrivals to leap out
of the box and onto our shelves this week. Call or email
us if you want more information on any of these titles,
or to have us hold you a copy. Or stop in and check them
out in person. We'd love to see you. Thanks as always
for sharing your reading with us!
Washington's America: A Biography Through His Maps
By Schecter, Barnet
2010-11 - Walker & Company
9780802717481 - Hardcover
List Price $67.50 - Your Price:
This amazing coffee
table book uses facsimiles of actual maps Washington
drew himself or personally collected as a backdrop for a
unique biography! ...More
By Gordon, Jaimy
2010-11 - McPherson
9780929701837 - Hardcover
List Price $25.00 - Your Price:
This exceptional novel
from one of America's finest independent small presses
has been nominated for the National Book Award. Lord
of Misrule is set amidst the dark
fascination of horse racing at its most marginal.
Dark, No Stars
By King, Stephen
2010-11 - Scribner Book Company
9781439192566 - Hardcover
See Other Formats
List Price $27.99 - Your Price:
Those who feel that
King's strongest work is to be found in his short story
collections will be excited to encounter this new
collection. Disquieting first person narratives, odd
discoveries which end good marriages, and deals with the
devil are all to be found within its pages. ...More
of a Wimpy Kid 5
By Kinney, Jeff
2010-11 - Amulet Books
9780810984912 - Hardcover
List Price $13.95 - Your Price:
The 5th Diary of a
Wimpy Kid is out today. Click the more button to read an
interesting Bookpage review by Alice Carey. ...More