The first programme item for the small online Åconish event on 13 May is here! We will have the traditional Book of the Night discussion, and this year’s litterature of the late hour is Lisa Goldstein’s The Red Magician.
Here you can read a presentation of the book by Sari Polvinen:
Most of Lisa Goldstein’s novels are more in the magical realist tradition than pure secondary world fantasies. She has written, for example, about surreal artists in Paris (The Dream Years), a dysfunctional western family in a fictional middle-eastern country (Tourists) and personal histories and secret societies (Walking the Labyrinth). While all of her work is worth reading, her most famous work is still her debut novel, The Red Magician, which won the National Book Award in 1982 and got her shortlisted for the Campbell award.
The Red Magician is holocaust fiction, a story about a young Hungarian Jewish girl Kicsi whose conservative village Rabbi refuses to listen to the warnings of a wandering magician Vörös about the impending war and genocide. It is an intriguing and beautifully written mix of fantasy, Jewish traditions and folklore, and a historical novel. As it is what we would now call middle grade/YA fiction, the lessons learned are not too subtle, but the message of healing, hope and overcoming survivor’s guilt are as important as ever.
If you want to participate in the Book of the Night discussion, now is the time to get your hands on a copy of The Red Magician. As the novel has not been reprinted in some time, your best bet is the friendly local library or a second hand book shop of your choice. The book is also easily available as an e-book or an audio book from wherever you purchase such.