Academic journal article Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts

Terri Windling: An Introduction

Academic journal article Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts

Terri Windling: An Introduction

Article excerpt

Terri windling has played many roles in the contemporary rediscovery of fairy tales: novelist, editor, artist, critic, and all-around encourager. Her 1995 anthology The Armless Maiden and Other Tales for Childhood's Survivors and the introductory and closing essays in that volume opened many eyes to the value of oral tales as guides for healing and integration. Her approach has never been a glib and unsupported pop psychology but rather a nuanced and personal investigation of individual tales and their intersection with the lives of readers.

Windling was in almost from the beginning of the fantasy explosion. Hired to do illustrations for Ellen Kushner's 1980 anthology Basilisk, she soon began work as an editor at Ace Books. In her own anthologies, she helped link older fantasy by people like Sylvia Townsend Warner and Angela Carter with original work by Kushner, Pat Murphy, Pamela Dean, Robin McKinley, James P. Blaylock, Patricia McKillip, and many others. Novelists she sponsored included Megan Lindholm, Jonathan Carroll, and Nicholas Stuart Gray. Her series of Ace Fantasy Specials, conceived as a counterpart to Terry Carr's Science Fiction Specials, introduced the world to Emma Bull's War for the Oaks and Delia Sherman's Through a Brazen Mirror. Conceiving the idea of a series of novelistic retellings of classic fairy tales, she recruited writers such as Stephen Brust, Patricia Wrede, Jane Yolen and Tanith Lee, who produced many classic works, including Yolen's classic holocaust story Briar Rose.

For a number of years starting in 1998, Windling was the fantasy half of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, working with Ellen Datlow to produce a remarkable series of volumes gleaned from genre magazines, small press publications, and more conventional fiction venues. Datlow and Windling also collaborated on editing a series of fairy tale short stories and poems, starting with Snow White, Blood Red in 1995. While accomplishing all this, she also helped create the Borderlands shared fantasy world, contributed to Heidi Anne Heiner's invaluable website Surlalune Fairy Tales, and established Endicott Studios, with its own accompanying website. …

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