The Village of Bones, by Mary Mackey, is a fantasy that is definitely a must read. it is the prequel to the Earthsong series. It is the story of Sabalah who is a young woman who desires more than anything to conceive a child. She is given a vision she will conceive a magical child; however, she must leave her village and everyone she loves there. So, Sabalah and her lover leave. What follows will keep you on the edge of your seats to the very last page. This is definitely Mary Mackey at her best.
An old man, a poet of the generation of Kerouac, Corso and Ginsburg, is at the lectern tonight in the auditorium of a small college nestled in the Ozarks of Arkansas. Although widely published for many years, both in the United States and abroad, he has never done a reading of his work. He attended a reading once, back in the Fifties. It was held in San Francisco and given by Gregory Corso. All the literati of the day were there, a number of them under the influence of one thing or another. But the reader tonight was so bored he swore he would never do a reading himself.
Not one to fraternize with other writers, the poet usually stays home with his African Grey parrots and Scarlet macaws. He writes at an old roll-top desk in what a romantic might call a garret, which he says is just a drafty attic over his old garage, part of an estate he inherited from his parents. He writes, off and on, day and night because he sleeps very little–two hours here, two hours there. He disdains liquor and dope but is a souse when it comes to milkshakes.
Tonight his friend of many years, an old professor at a local college, has asked him to read. The professor, almost as old as the poet, assumed the man had read his work often at various venues. The old poet for some reason agreed to do the reading. Maybe the money was attractive, although the honorarium was small. Long ago the poet’s four books had been remaindered and now money in any amount helps. Seed for the parrots and macaws adds up. He lives on Social Security and an annuity given to him by his parents long ago because they figured he would never be able to earn a living. They were right.