Magic fuels survival. The inexplicable offers relief from emotional distress and pain in the aftermath of abuse, violence, or disaster. But when and why do people turn to magic? Amanda Leduc writes about this phenomenon in Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space: “In fairy tales, the transformation of the individual relies on fairies and magic—or the gods—because it is understood society itself can’t (and indeed won’t) improve.” These stories were born out of a time when people felt powerless. Leduc’s criticism asks us to confront how magic once operated in previous traditions and what that means with our relationship to magic now. How can contemporary writers counteract those narratives with stories imbued in magic? In this special folio, eight writers push back against the traditional ways of viewing magic in fairy tales to usher in fresh perspectives.
You’ll find all pieces of the folio interpret magic in radically different ways. Some works are grounded in reality. They are familiar, subtle. Others exist in worlds that operate unlike our own. They are otherworldly, ethereal.