While Kelly Link might be an unfamiliar name to those who rarely step beyond the domain of literary fiction, for readers of ghost stories, science fiction, and tales of the macabre, grotesque and chillingly strange, Link’s work is hallowed ground. A writer of short stories (she has never produced a novel), Link has published four collections, two of which – The Wrong Grave and Pretty Monsters – have been released recently in Australia, accompanied by illustrations from Shaun Tan. Stranger Things Happen (2001) and Magic for Beginners (2006), her earlier collections, received breathless acclaim from critics and writers as diverse as Neil Gaiman, Sarah Waters and Audrey Niffenegger, and won her a cult following in the US, where she lives and works. She has won a Hugo Award, three Nebula Awards and a World Fantasy Award over the course of her career.
Link is impressively chameleonic; an author who slips between genres or turns them upside down to subvert and play with reader expectations. With an imaginative prowess that is often compared to Borges’, Link’s intelligent stories tread the borderline between the realm of the familiar world and its ghostly, unknown counterpart.
Kill Your Darlings spoke with Kelly Link about genre fiction, the germination of ideas, and the benefits of working with other writers.
– Hannah Kent
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