Friday, July 19, 2013

Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger

In Audrey Niffenegger's, Raven Girl, a postman rescues a fledgling raven. The two fall in love and eventually raise a daughter who looks human but can only speak raven. She has a sort of body dysphoria, always feeling more bird than human. What she wants more than anything is to fly.

Full-page etchings are as haunting as those in Niffenegger's earlier picture books for adults, The Adventuress and The Three Incestuous SistersRaven Girl follows a more linear storytelling path, however. It reminds me of the original Little Mermaid (not the Disney version) except with a happier ending (darker than the Disney kind).
detail from Audrey
Niffenegger's artwork

One of Niffenegger's whimsical illustrations reminded me of Dale Auger's paintings, so I've paired them opposite each other here. Both are magical. (If you're going to release creatures from your mouth, birds are so much nicer than toads.) Raven Girl is a quirky and enchanting fable.

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