Joan Aiken's stories captivated readers for fifty years. They're funny, smart, gentle, and occasionally very, very scary. The stories in The Monkey's Wedding are collected here for the very first time and include six never before published, as well as two previously published under the pseudonym Nicholas Dee. Here you'll find the story of a village for sale . . . or is the village itself the story? There's an English vicar who declares on his deathbed that he might have lived an entirely different life. After his death, a large, black, argumentative cat makes an appearance. . . .
This hugely imaginative collection of incongruous, light, and unexpected stories features Shelley Jackson's spooky and eyecatching cover painting inspired by the story "A Mermaid Too Many" and includes introductions by Joan Aiken as well by her daughter, Lizza Aiken.
Praise for Joan Aiken:
"Joan Aiken's invention seemed inexhaustible, her high spirits a blessing, her sheer storytelling zest a phenomenon. She was a literary treasure, and her books will continue to delight for many years to come."--Philip Pullman
"Aiken writes with the genius of a born storyteller, with mother wit expanded and embellished by civilized learning, and with the brilliance of an avenging angel."--The New Yorker
Best known for The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Joan Aiken (1924-2004) wrote over a hundred books and won the Guardian and Edgar Allan Poe awards. After her first husband's death, she supported her family by copyediting at Argosy magazine and an advertising agency before turning to fiction. She went on to write for Vogue, Good Housekeeping, Vanity Fair, Argosy, Women's Own, and many others. Visit her online at: joanaiken.com.
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Wildly inventive, darkly lyrical, and always surprising, this collection-like the mermaid in a bottle-is a literary treasure that should be cherished by fantastical fiction fans of all ages. --Publisher's Weekly
Darkly whimsical stories...Aiken writes with surpassing spirit and alertness, her elegant restraint and dry wit never fail to leave their mark. --Kirkus Reviews,April 2011
Each story has a surprise or twist. Many are ironic, go-figure pieces. They are just like real life, only more so. VERDICT: This book will appeal to readers of short stories and literary fiction. Highly recommended.
Aiken's pastoral meadows and circus chaos, gothic grotesques and quirky romances... have a dream-like quality executed with a brevity and wit that is a testament to her skill as a story-teller. --California Literary Review
From a bottled mermaid brought home from a sailor's adventures at sea to a vicar reincarnated as a malevolent cat, fantasy is combined with magic, myth and adventure to form weird, wonderful and immersive tales."
--For Book's Sake
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