Dreams have magic in them.
A few of us have the power to make that magic real.
A masterwork by one of fantasy’s most gifted storytellers: a magnificent tale of love, courage, and the power of imagination to transform our lives.
This is the novel Charles de Lint’s many devoted readers have been waiting for, the compelling odyssey of a young woman whose visionary art frees ancient spirits into the modern world.
Isabelle Copley’s visionary art frees ancient spirits. As the young student of the cruel, brilliant artist Vincent Rushkin, she discovered she could paint images so vividly real they brought her wildest fantasies to life. But when the forces she unleashed brought tragedy to those she loved, she turned her back on her talent—and on her dreams.
Now, twenty years later, Isabelle must come to terms with the shattering memories she has long denied, and unlock the slumbering power of her brush. And, in a dark reckoning with her old master, she must find the courage to live out her dreams and bring the magic back to life.
Charles de Lint’s skillful blending of contemporary urban characters and settings with traditional folk magic has made him one of the most popular fantasy authors of his generation.
Memory and Dream is the most ambitious work of de Lint’s extraordinary career, an exciting tale of epic scope that explores the power our dreams have to transform the world-or make it a waking nightmare.
It is the story of Isabelle Copley, a young artist who once lived in the bohemian quarter of the northern city of Newford. As a student of Vincent Rushkin, a cruel but gifted painter, she discovered an awesome power—to craft images so real that they came to life. With her paintbrush she called into being the wild spirits of the wood, made her dreams come true with canvas and paint. But when the forces she unleashed brought unexpected tragedy to those she loved, she ran away from Newford, turning her back on her talent-and on her dreams.
Now, twenty years later, the power of Newford has reached out to draw her back. To fulfill a promise to a long-dead friend, Isabelle must come to terms with the shattering memories she has long denied, and unlock the slumbering power of her brush. She must accept her true feelings for her newfound lover John Sweetgrass, a handsome young Native American who is the image of her most intense imaginings. And, in a dark reckoning with her old master, she must find the courage to live out her dreams, and bring the magic back to life.
“For more than a decade, Charles de Lint has enjoyed a reputation as one of the world’s leading fantasists.”—
“A superb storyteller. De Lint has a flair for tales that blur the lines between the mundane world and magical reality, and nowhere is this more evident than in his fictional city of Newford.”—
“De Lint can feel the beauty of the ancient lore he is evoking. He can well imagine what it would be like to conjure the Other World among ancient standing stones. His characters have a certain fallibility that makes them multidimensional and human, and his settings are gritty. This is no Disneylike Never-Never Land. Life and death in de Lint’s world are more than a matter of a few words or a magic crystal.” –
“There is no better writer now than Charles de Lint at bringing out the magic in contemporary life ... The best of the post-Stephen King contemporary fantasists, the one with the clearest vision of the possibilities of magic in a modern setting.” —
“In the fictional city of Newford, replete with the brutal realities of modern urban life, de Lint’s characters encounter magic in strange and unexpected places ... In de Lint’s capable hands, modern fantasy becomes something other than escapism. It becomes folk song, the stuff of urban myth.” —
Welcome to the music clubs, the waterfront, the alleyways where ancient myths and magic spill into the modern world. Come meet Jilly, painting wonders in the rough city streets; and Geordie, playing fiddle while he dreams of a ghost; and the Angel of Grasso Street gathering the fey and the wild and the poor and the lost. Gemmins live in abandoned cars, and skells traverse the tunnels below, while mermaids swim in the gray harbor waters and fill the cold night with their song.
Like Mark Helprin’s and John Crowley’s , is a mustread book not only for fans of urban fantasy but for all those who seek magic in everyday life.
“In de Lint’s capable hands, modern fantasy becomes something other than escapism. It becomes folk song,—the stuff of urban myth.”
“Charles de Lint shows that, far from being escapism, contemporary fantasy can be the deep mythic literature of our time.”
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY…
…of Minda the Wren, traveler between worlds, and Jan of the erls, imprisoned in a stone. Of Ildran the Dream-master, eater of souls, and Huorn the Hunter, with eyes of blazing gold. Of Grimbold the Wizard and Markj'n the Tinker; of Taneh the Loremistress and Sian of the High Erls, of Cabber of the Wild Folk, and of others past numbering…
Of the many worlds tied together by the Gates we call Standing Stones; of the ones who pass from world to world, and of the battle that spread across them like fire.
It is a story of riddles and magic and the sound of soft piping. Listen.
In the Old Country, they called them the Gentry: ancient spirits of the land, magical, amoral, and dangerous. When the Irish emigrated to North America, some or the Gentry followed…only to find that the New World already had spirits of its own, called and other such names by the Native tribes.
Now generations have passed, and the Irish have made homes in the new land, hut the Gentry still wander homeless on the city streets. Gathering in the city shadows, they bide their time and dream of power. As their dreams grow harder, darker, fiercer, so do the Gentry themselves—appearing, to those with the sight to see them, as hard and dangerous men, invariably dressed in black.
Bettina can see the Gentry, and knows them for what they are. Part Indian, part Mexican, she was raised by her grandmother to understand the spiritworld. Now she lives in Kellygnow, a massive old house run as an arts colony on the outskirts of Newford, a world away from the southwestern desert of her youth. Outside her nighttime window, she often spies the dark men, squatting in the snow, smoking, brooding, waiting. She calls them the wolves, and stays clear of them—until the night one follows her to the woods, and takes her hand….
Ellie, an independent young sculptor, is another with magic in her blood, but she refuses to believe it, even though she, too, sees the dark men. A strange old woman has summoned Ellie to Kellygnow to create a mask for her based on an ancient Celtic artifact. It is the mask of the mythic Summer King—another thing that Ellie does not believe in. Yet lack of belief won’t dim the power of the mask, or its dreadful intent.
Donal, Ellie’s former lover, comes from an Irish family and. knows the truth at the heart of the old myths. He thinks he can use the mask and the “hard men” for his own purposes. And Donal’s sister, Miki, a punk accordion player, stands on the other side of the Gentry’s battle with the Native spirits or the land. She knows that more than her brother’s soul is at stake. All of Newford is threatened, human and mythic beings alike.
Once again Charles de Lint weaves the mythic traditions or many cultures into a seamless cloth, bringing folklore, music, and unforgettable characters to life on modern city streets.
From Publishers Weekly:
This fanciful and moving collection of 15 tales, some loosely related with common characters, probes deeply into the nature of art and artists and the souls of the poor and downtrodden. In the fictional city of Newford, a touch of enchantment can bring surcease from pain and lead to deeper self-knowledge. In "Mr. Truepenny's Book Emporium and Gallery," a lonely young girl called Sophie daydreams about a wonderful shop, only to find, years later, that it has its own reality. Sophie, now an adult and an artist, finds herself marooned in another dream world, a Native American one, in "Where Desert Spirits Crowd the Night." And "In Dream Harder, Dream True," an ordinary young man rescues a woman with a broken wing, maybe a fairy, maybe an angel; they become Sophie's parents before the woman disappears. "Bird Bones and Wood Ash" deals with monsters who prey on their children and gives a woman tools to destroy them and save their victims. In "Waifs and Strays," a young woman, little more than a stray herself, who saves abandoned dogs and other neglected creatures, helps the ghost of her first benefactor find peace and move on. De Lint's evocative images, both ordinary and fantastic, jolt the imagination.
De Lint's latest reprints 14 stories of the gates between Faerie and the imaginary Canadian city of Newford and offers one new piece. Published in 14 different places and read in them one at a time, the stories undoubtedly did not leave quite so overwhelming an impression of literary grunge as they do when read here as a batch. De Lint's writing is as good as ever, and his folkloric scholarship remains outstanding--facts that make it very difficult to argue that this volume that rescues the likes of "Dream Harder, Dream True" and "The Forest Is Crying" from the obscurity of limited editions doesn't deserve its place on many library shelves.