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The Wood Wife by Terri Windling

The Wood Wife (1996)

by Terri Windling

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Brian Froud's Faerielands

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7362912,583 (4.26)88
Arizona (20) art (12) contemporary fantasy (11) coyote (7) desert (16) faerie (12) fairy tales (21) fantasy (217) favorites (6) fiction (102) folklore (19) magic (9) magical realism (14) myth (8) mythic fiction (11) mythology (18) novel (15) poetry (11) read (15) sf (8) sff (15) Southwest (12) speculative fiction (8) Terri Windling (6) time travel (6) to-read (19) Tucson (8) unread (16) urban fantasy (36) wishlist (7)
  1. 30
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Larkken)
  2. 10
    Child of a Rainless Year by Jane Lindskold (kmaziarz, Sakerfalcon)
    kmaziarz: Both feature a woman coming to the desert and finding magic waiting for her there.
    Sakerfalcon: Older heroines who move to the Southwestern USA and discover secrets and magic. Both books evoke the landscape and its legends beautifully.
  3. 10
    Medicine Road by Charles de Lint (loriephillips)
  4. 10
    The Owl Service by Alan Garner (gwernin)
  5. 00
    Territory by Emma Bull (juniperSun)
    juniperSun: both set in SW, involve magical realism
  6. 00
    Fifth Life of the Cat Woman by Kathleen Dexter (juniperSun)
    juniperSun: Both treat the natural world as alive and intellignet. Both have a female protagonist living in rural Southwest US.
  7. 01
    Tam Lin by Pamela Dean (gwernin)

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» See also 88 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
This is a truly lovely book. It has a great atmosphere, is slow-paced yet engaging, and has compelling characters. It is a wonderful mixture of the mundane, the magical and the desert. I love how the story speaks of everyday life, and how the magical gets integrated with it, a bit like mixing up a batter with a spoon. At first there is only a little magic that is separate from the rest, then it becomes more and more, and in the end, it is indistinguishable from normal life, a part of it through and through. I very much liked the coyotes and the rabbit girl. This book reminded me strongly of Forests of the heart by Charles de Lint. I think most people who enjoy the one would also enjoy the other. ( )
  zjakkelien | Jun 22, 2013 |
"The Wood Wife" is one of those books that changed the face of American Literature. It was voted one of the 100 Best Books of the 20th Century (http://www.modernlibrary.com/top-100/100-best-novels/) right between "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison and "The Magus" by John Fowles. It also won the 1997 Mythopoeic Award (http://www.mythsoc.org/awards/winners/). It also assisted in developing the whole Urban Fantasy genre. “The Wood Wife” is based in Arizona and blends the myths and legends of Native America and of fairie in a lyrical manner all it's own. It is mystery and magic melded to a degree which, if it doesn't touch your heart brings into question the depth of your humanity.

Poetic, multifaceted, mystical. All in all, a joy of a book, and an absolute must for any true fantasy aficionado. ( )
  Leiahc | May 4, 2013 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and its vivid sense of place. I usually dislike books that talk of poets as heroic characters but for some reason this was done so seamlessly I didn't bother me. ( )
  allyshaw | Apr 4, 2013 |
I picked up this book because I was/am trying to read as much of the early urban/mythic fantasy books as I can get my hands on.

I fell in love with Charles de Lint's Forests of the Heart early on, and after reading more of his works, decided to go for Terri Windling next, hoping for something similar in terms of both the mythic themes and the love of the desert. I was also interested in how much, if any, Windling's and de Lint's friendship may have influenced their writings.

There are may common elements between the two authors. The Wood Wife, to some extent, shares the same idea of consent reality found in de Lints books, and the idea of paintings creating bodies for spirits found in de Lint's Memory and Dream seems to be taken directly from this book. Also, the obvious love for the desert is common between the two authors, as is the discontent with the urbanization of it.

However, where the two authors diverge is their writing style. Windling is much more straightforward and much less lyrical than de Lint. However, she tends to describe things to a much greater extent -- especially the lighting.
When reading de Lint, I always got an impression of poetry, even though his works are strictly prose. With The Wood Wife, my impression (despite the embedded poetry sprinkled throughout) was of light. There were many times while reading this book that I looked up from it to the set of paintings of desert sunsets I have hanging on my wall. She makes me want to go to the desert, just for a while, despite the fact that I've never been that far west in my life. ( )
  Melanti | Mar 30, 2013 |
Incredible. There needs to be a name for the genre that is this book and War for the Oaks, because I think they're pretty much the same thing. Humans And Faeries Together They Don't Understand Each Other Very Well But It's Still Pretty Awesome? Something like that. ( )
  jen.e.moore | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Terri Windlingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Froud, BrianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Who wants to understand the poem
Must go to the land of poetry.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The Wood Wife is for
Brian, Wendy, and Toby Froud,
with love.

And in memory of Herbert Emil Rasmussen
(1916-1994), who is greatly missed.
First words
On the night that Davis Cooper died, coyotes came down from the hills to the town in the desert valley below.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0765302934, Paperback)

Journalist and ex-poet Maggie Black has inherited the estate of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Davis Cooper, with whom she corresponded for years, but never met. Maggie is a cosmopolitan woman of the West Coast and Europe, and a child of the Appalachian mountains; she has no interest in the desert. She has an ex-husband she still loves in L.A. And Davis Cooper drowned in the Arizona desert, the victim of a mysterious murder. Maggie has many reasons to stay away. Yet she moves to Cooper's desert home, seeking to unravel the secrets of Cooper and his late lover, the mad painter Anna Naverra. But these, Maggie will discover, are not the desert's only mysteries. Ancient powers are stirring--enigmatic and dangerous spirits that would use humans for their own purposes.

Terri Windling is the most important and influential fantasy editor of the 1980s and 1990s: Her many accomplishments include editing (and often discovering) a pantheon of fantasy gods--Steven Brust, Emma Bull, Charles de Lint, Jane Yolen, and many more. She edits, with Ellen Datlow, the indispensible annual Year's Best Fantasy and Horror and the acclaimed revisionist fairy-tale anthology series that began with Snow White, Blood Red. She has won the World Fantasy Award five times. So it's not too surprising that her first novel, The Wood Wife, is well written, fascinating, insightful, and the winner of the 1997 Mythopoeic Award for Best Novel. --Cynthia Ward

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:45 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A woman writer moves into a house she inherited from a poet in the hills of Arizona. The man died in mysterious circumstances and Maggie Black wants to find out why. So begins a terrifying introduction to the Indian spirits which roam the hills and feed on people's creative juices.… (more)

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