Re: McKinley: ursula/jane/patricia

From: <>
Date: Tue Jun 09 1998 - 07:18:51 PDT

>if you had to rate them in order of whom you liked best, how would you rate ursula leguin, jane yolen, and patricia
>mckillip(of course robin is #1)? i've never read anything much of theirs except the shortstories in _imaginary lands_ and ukl's
>_the left hand of darkness_, but i just got _a wizard of earthsea_, _briarrose_, and _the book of atrix wolfe_, so which
>authors/books should i read first(i.e. which are best)? (+ what other books of theirs should i read?)

McKillip & Yolen are first on the list, with LeGuin trailing
after. Read anything by the first two that you can, and be
sure to pick up the EarthSea trilogy by LeGuin. LeGuin is
good, don't get me wrong, she's very, very good; her work
just doesn't have the magical feel to it that both McKillip
and Yolen have. What I'm trying to say is, in this case,
it's a matter of taste rather than skill. Also, LeGuin
sometimes slips into the lecturing mode rather than the
storytelling mode. That varies from book to book, though.
The Earthsea books, for example, are stories. You can, if
you choose, learn from them, but they're stories first.
_Tehanu_, on the other hand, has a large dose of looking
at the woman's place in the world ladled in. Sometimes
Tehanu is a character who inadvertantly tells us about our
society; sometimes she's a mouthpeice for lectures/
questions/examinations of Society.

McKillip has a lovely, elegant prose that isn't like any
other I've read. By all means, read _Atrix Wolf_; it's worth
it. But be sure to also read _Winter Rose_ (a retelling of
Tam Lin, among other things [and it looks at a woman's
place in the world without putting Message before Story]).
Also look for _The Sorceress and the Cygnet_ and _The
Cygnet and the Firebird_. Or any of her other books; those
just happen to be my favorites.

Jane Yolen is a lovely, versatile author. _Briar Rose_
blends Sleeping Beauty and the Holocaust. And it works!
Her short stories, in _Dream Weaver_ and other books whose
names I can't remember, are the best fairy tales by a
modern author I have ever read. They really hold on to
the fairy tale feel.

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Received on Tue Jun 9 14:18:59 1998

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