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.
When my mother and I were hopeless, buckling under the weight of our unanswered prayers, she taught me that laughter can be a way of creating our own mercy.
The witch was not thorough / with her magic
NOTTHECRUSH tells me he has a crush on me.
People talk about the dead sometimes having unfinished business with the living, but my case was the opposite.
“Kids have imaginary friends, right?” I ask.
“Yes,” my therapist says. “But they don’t have imaginary abusers.”
We could only see Love if we did not look at it directly.
In this special folio, eight writers push back against the traditional ways of viewing magic in fairy tales to usher in fresh perspectives.
Her teeth and nails turned to grit, and she became part of the earth itself.
I’m starting to believe in small magics like / astrology and sudden rain