RaveLIBERIntellectually rigorous, unassumingly lyrical, obliquely intimate essays ... Wilk...has a deep and wide knowledge which brings forth many other examples—both past and contemporary, sci-fi and otherwise—of stories that evoke a weird disintegration of the plant-human distinction ... I would like to go on and on about this very fertile book, but TLDR: You should read it. You will want to reread it. Maybe you will want to kiss, lick, and cry over it; to eat it, break it down and re-form it into new ideas, new writing.
PositiveThe Women\'s Review of Books... situated and told in a way that is funny, sad, and suffused with the weird, incandescent logic of a story-within-a-story distorted through a fever dream ... the language here is rich, but also contemporary, demotic, wry—in which gossip and slander not only propel the narrative but seem to constitute and negate an unstable reality ... You’d expect a novel with such a sassy title—not to mention a pink and purple cover—to fall back on the \'witch\' tropes of contemporary pop-feminism ...This is a beautiful, slippery book that gives much if you can grasp it. As soon as I finished, I wanted to read it again, not only because the characters were good company but because, like life itself, it produced in me that paradoxical pleasure of having not quite understood.
RaveThe Women\'s Review of BooksIt is a moving narrative arc. Mantel has turned the oft-vilified Cromwell into a bizarrely compelling and omnicompetent hero of great psychological complexity ... Mantel, as a literary mind, is difficult to
categorize. She is not just a skillful or stylish or
insightful novelist—though she is all of those. She
is what I would call a great novelist, \'a prolific,
protean figure\' as The Guardian has put it, one \'who doesn’t fit many of the established
pigeonholes for women writers.\' Her material is
both magisterial and intimate, historical and
contemporary, ranging from European political history to 1980s Saudi Arabia to her own struggles
with severe endometriosis ... Part of what makes the Wolf Hall trilogy so extraordinary is its fidelity to historical detail ... Mantel engages the past on its own terms, a less-than-fashionable approach in an era when most historical fiction of literary status uses speculative or postmodern distortions to elide the question of accuracy altogether ... The novels’ sensory description is immersive and rich—vivid renderings of fine garments and cloth provide much sensual and thematic texture to The Mirror and the Light—yet tightly controlled, never a mere showcase of the author’s research, as in the unwieldy popular fiction of, say, Diana Gabaldon. And unlike most novels about the Tudors, Mantel’s are not romances ... She makes the fiction flexible,
fluid, allowing it to conform to events as they really
happened, in all their awkwardness, without
manufacturing drama or carving facts into a
shapely narrative ... The past, here, is a fully imagined universe, not a world seen only through some lens of the present