A great war, a great love, and the mythology that unites them;The Hawkman: A Fairy Tale of the Great Waris a lyrical adaptation of a beloved classic.Set against the shattering events of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, at the tale’s heart are an American schoolteacherdynamic and imaginativeand an Irish musician, homeless and hatedwho have survived bloodshed, poverty, and sickness to be thrown together in an English village. Together they quietly hide from the world in a small cottage.Too soon, reality shatters their serenity, and they must face the parochial community. Unbeknownst to all, a legend is in the makingone that will speak of courage and resilience amidst the forces that brought the couple together even as outside forces threaten to tear them apart.
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Jane Rosenberg LaForge was born in Los Angeles to a pair of political and news junkies. As a child, she grew up in Laurel Hills, a suburb adjacent to the storied, some say enchanted, enclave of visual artists, hippies, rock ‘n’ roll musicians, and Hollywood actors known as Laurel Canyon. This milieu shaped her lifelong fascination with history, politics, subcultures, and folklore. She also studied ballet, which introduced her to the world of fairy tales and legends of supernatural transformation.
Jane’s first professional writings were as a journalist. Her reporting took her throughout California, Maryland, and upstate New York. She enrolled in a graduate creative writing program in order to write a novel based on a court case she covered. Her studies led to a career as a college English instructor and writing literary criticism. She has published articles on fairy tales and the influence of African folklore on contemporary authors. As a college instructor, she has taught composition, children’s literature, and African American literature.
After the birth of her daughter in 2000, Jane found little time to write at length and began exploring poetry. In 2009, she published her first chapbook of poems and later brought together all her interests to write An Unsuitable Princess: A True Fantasy/A Fantastical Memoir. An Unsuitable Princess was an annotated fairy tale with poetry that told the story of her adolescence as a Hollywood outsider. All together she has published four poetry chapbooks and two full-length collections. The most recent is Daphne and Her Discontents, an examination of the Greek myth of a girl who turns into a Laurel tree—which gave Jane’s childhood neighborhood its name—to avoid Apollo’s advances.
Jane now lives in New York with her husband, Patrick; daughter, Eva; and their cat, Zeka.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
**Big thanks to NetGalley for this digital copy in exchange for my review.** It was a little slow to start, but I think that was my fault. I was expecting some wild fantasy novel. It was wild, it was fantastical, but it wasn't a fantasy. You only got to know 2 of the characters very well, and even that wasn't much. I was also distracted trying to figure out when it took place. Again, that may be more my fault. The hints were fine, I just had to look it up and refresh my history knowledge. But then, it just took off for me. The storytelling in this book was amazing! Not just the main characters, but there were little stories thrown in all over the place. Miss Williams was a writer, that's how she met Mr. Sheehan. She was teaching at the women's college. And that's really all I will tell you. It really was a wonderful story!
This novel addresses the opposing powers of storytelling and silence and is based on Grimms’ “The Bearskin,” in which a man makes a Faustian deal to spend 7 years wearing a bear skin and living like a wild animal, after which the devil will grant him all the riches in the world. Laforge’s retelling is beautiful and subtle, in a narrative that presents mostly as historical fiction. Like Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin, the fantastic element is primarily the story (or stories) within the story—which in this case are a variety of fables and folk tales. Nevertheless, Laforge laces magic into the narrative, and when she finally reveals the fanciful, it’s transformative. In the novel, an Irish concert pianist named Michael Sheehan fights in World War I trenches for the British while his countrymen fight in Dublin’s streets for their independence. Captured by the Germans behind enemy lines, Michael endures torture, starvation, and hard labor for the remainder of the war. Altogether, these experiences leave him a ruined pariah. With damaged hearing, vision, and hands, Michael cannot return to his career as a pianist, and suspected of desertion by the British and collusion by the Irish, he cannot find a home in either land. Hence, he survives as a beggar in the countryside. Then one day, the American writer Eva Williams rides her bicycle past him and decides to stop. Michael is mute due to a self-imposed silence borne of the futility of self-defense. No one accepted his story, so he stopped trying to tell it. A professional storyteller, Eva does not stop talking. The child of confidence artists, she discovered the power of words early, but where her parents used them to deceive, Eva uses them to redeem. Redeeming Michael becomes her mission Throughout the book, Laforge weaves fable and fairy tales into historical fiction and reveals Michael’s and Eva’s pasts as reminiscences relevant to current experience. Between the true stories that explain the scars each character bears, come the tales with the power to restore the true self. Like Hawkman‘s Eva Williams, Laforge is gentle, literary, and rule-breaking. She uses omniscient narration in Hawkman, and the fluid transitions between different characters’ perceptions can be disconcerting to the modern reader used to third person limited. The narrative choice is, however, perfectly appropriate to a fairy tale. The deliberate pacing and looping chronology also don
The point of this book is not so much the story but the beautiful writing. Fairy tales woven seamlessly into the story of a young woman and the man she tries to save. The author does a beautiful job of showing us how a man can go from being a man to less than human when having to do unspeakable things, in a way that makes so much more sense than anything I have ever read before. So many emotions while reading him going through his emotions, or the emotions he stomps down. What a beautiful story.
The Hawkman has all the prerequisites of a fairy tale - the obvious parable, the mix of fantasy and reality that can twist your vision, making the bizarre perfectly acceptable, the consistent personal mistreatment to a depth that would make the break into fairytale completely understood. It is also an excellent case against the atrocities of war, and the mental break entailed when personal acceptance of the same is no longer tenable. Aligning these horrors in this historical novel gives us a glimpse into the world our veterans encounter daily. This is a novel that approaches that pain in a more understandable way for the layperson, in a more empathetic way, than anything else I have read. Thank you Ms. LaForge for sharing this tale with us. This is a story I can happily recommend for friends and family. I received a free electronic copy of this period novel from Netgalley, Jane Rosenberg LaForge, and Amberjack Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.