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Friday, February 22, 2013

The Appearance of Unsettling Wonder

delightful and enchanting new publication has recently debuted in the world of fairy tales and folklore. It's called Unsettling Wonder and if its first issue is anything to go by, fans and writers inspired by fairy tales and folklore have reason to rejoice.


Available both digitally and in print, UW's look is spare, but not chilly. Correction: The first issue cover was designed by Laura Anderson, whose work is available for commission. Its charming, and  sets up the issue nicely.

The general editor of the publication is John Patrick Pazdziora, whose effort as a scholar and as a true fan of fairy tales and folklore has been a boon to Enchanted Conversation and even more to the field in general. (This seems a good time state that an essay I wrote on teaching with fairy tales is in an upcoming book called New Fairy Tales, which John edited, along with Defne Cizakca--who, by the way, is fiction editor of Unsettling Wonder.  EC will definitely be featuring more about New Fairy Tales.)

Wanting Unsettling Wonder to succeed, however, is not why I am recommending you check it out. Instead, I recommend it based on, for example, the fact that Jennifer Povey's "The Voyage of the Fool," a loose adaptation of a Russian folktale, manages to be both fresh and familiar. It has the coziness of something I might have read in childhood, but it could not have been written then. The other works in the maiden voyage of Unsettling Wonder are also entertaining and, yes, a little unsettling. The first issue is well curated, and Povey's work is in good company.

(Another note: Both Jennifer and artist and author Claire Massey have work that appears in an earlier, archived incarnation of EC from several years ago. You can find it by scrolling down on the right and clicking on the flying fairy image. Claire has a story in the first issue of Unsettling Wonder, hence the mention here.)

I bought the print form of the first issue of Unsettling Wonder and received it very quickly. It's lovely. A keepsake. But no matter how you'd like to take this dose of wonder, check it out.

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