Watch the amazing Locus juggle several books at once, and try not to drop any! Free admission.
"You never saw such a wild thing as my mother, her hat seized by the winds and blown out to sea so that her hair was her white mane, her black lisle legs exposed to the thigh, her skirts tucked round her waist, one hand on the reins of the rearing horse while the other clasped my father's service revolver and, behind her, the breakers of the savage, indifferent sea, like the witnesses of a furious justice."
I hadn't read this collection since my college days, and it was an absolute treat to come back to it now, without the baggage of having to write a paper or exam on it. And yet, I still found myself studying it carefully at times, because it's a work that demands to be dissected. The individual stories reference one another in surprising ways compel the reader to go back to previous tales in order to fully unearth the connection. The intricately worded sentences force us to slow down in order to fully unlock their meaning. And, of course, there are the source materials crowding around the edges of Carter's own re-imaginings.
For me, the standouts in the collection are the title piece (from which the above quote is taken), The Erl-King, and The Lady of the House of Love.
I picked this copy up recently, a beautifully printed 75th anniversary edition whose pages have a lovely thick texture and almost rough edges that give it the feel of a manuscript.