Margo Lanagan Watch #2

Reviews of Tender Morsels

Ken on the "Neth Space" weblog: "The underlying reality of humanity lies at the heart of this story. It's a world of overwhelming cruelty interspersed with acts of incredible kindness and everything in between."

Deirdre Baker in "The Toronto Star": "Based on the tale Snow White and Rose Red and a Catalonian bear ritual, this powerfully imaginative, compelling novel explores trauma and desire, transformation and healing. Lanagan's vivid language and masterful use of mythic imagery give it extraordinary depth and beauty."

"BookLoons" weblog: "Though her story begins in darkness and abuse, Margo Lanagan moves it steadily and assuredly into the light, with strong (mainly female) characters, intriguing magics, and beautiful writing. Tender Morsels will stay with you long after you turn the last page."

"The Celebrity Cafe" weblog: "The plot moves like a leaf caught in the river's grasp, sometimes speeding along over white water and other times floating aimlessly. There are bright moments when the course is clear and well written here and there, but the uneven narrative and disconcerting point of view changes make Tender Morsels a thorny story to follow."

Review of Red Spikes

"Needs More Demons?" weblog: "Lanagan isn't one for big dumps of exposition. She demands a willingness to read a few pages before you're quite sure what's going on, and perhaps to re-read as your understanding grows. Her prose and structure are fiercely economical."

Review of short fiction

"Chasing Ray" weblog on "The Goosle": "It's hard to simply recommend "The Goosle" because it is upsetting -- it disturbs as much as it enlightens. But some stories are supposed to scare the crap out of us; some stories are supposed to make us wary for what might come or thankful for what we have."


Lynne Jamneck on

You deal with a number of dark themes in your latest novel, Tender Morsels, including rape and sexual abuse. How do you respond to those who would object that this is not a book suitable for young readers?

I'd agree that it isn't a book that's suitable for all young readers. I'd agree that it shouldn't be compulsory reading on a school curriculum. However, I think young readers generally have a pretty clear idea what they're ready for and what they can't handle yet, and I'd say, 'How about we put it out there where they can find it, and trust them to walk away from it if it's too much for them?' I would also point out that it's not the best book for adults to read if they're in any kind of fragile state. It's a very intense book; it kicks you around emotionally. You need to be feeling resilient to take on the first part, particularly.

Margo was also a part of my Australian LitBlog Snapshot in December 2008 (the link isn't working for this at present).


"Publisher's Weekly" chose Tender Morsels as one of its best children's books of the year for 2008, stating: "Dense, atmospheric prose holds readers to a cautious pace in an often dark fantasy that explores the savage and gentlest sides of human nature and how they coexist."

In addition, Tender Morsels appeared on the "best of 2008" or "recommended reading for 2008" lists from the following: "Locus" magazine, "School Library Journal", and Amazon.

In early February 2009, Margo Lanagan was "blogger-in-residence" at the State Library's Reading Victoria program. You can read the introductory post here.

This continued a busy schedule for the author in the early part of 2009 as she had previously appeared as one of the tutors at the 2009 Clarion South writer's workshop in January.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 26, 2009 2:29 PM.

Combined Reviews: The Spare Room by Helen Garner was the previous entry in this blog.

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