As part of a public execution, a young boy forlornly helps to sing his sister down. A servant learns about grace and loyalty from a mistress who would rather dance with Gypsies than sit on her throne. A terrifying encounter with a demonic angel gives a young man the strength he needs to break free of his oppressor. On a bleak and dreary afternoon a gleeful shooting spree leads to tragedy for a desperate clown unable to escape his fate.
In each of Margo Lanagan's ten stories, human frailty is put to the test by the implacable forces of dark and light, man and beast. Black Juice offers glimpses into familiar, shadowy worlds that push the boundaries of the spirit and leave the mind haunted with the knowledge that black juice runs through us all.
Surreal, disturbing, and unearthly, this 2006 Printz Honor Book collection of young-adult short stories intelligently slips into a variety of strange, unknown worlds with poetic precision and clarity. In the opening tale, "Singing My Sister Down," a family gaily picnics while one of their numbers slowly sinks to her death in a tar pit as punishment for an unnamed crime, while in "Wooden Bride" a young girl hurries to a village church for a ritual she has trained for over the past two years. A herd of starving elephants, a boy in search of powerfully scented angels, and a bizarre, dust-covered landscape are just a few of the images and ideas that can be found in these stories of all-powerful regimes, chaos, fear, alienation, love, and loss.
- Fiction + Literature Genres, Juvenile Fiction
- People + Places / Other, Short Stories, General
- March 1, 2005
- March 1, 2005
- Margo Lanagan