I own four of Emma Donoghue’s books: Slammerkin, Life Mask, Kissing A Witch, and The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits. Donoghue’s writing is rich and rife with emotions and portraits of people who we quickly become obsessed with. She is well-versed in her history and fashion and her descriptions are so rich as to draw the reader into the world she is working with. You do not read Donoghue’s work, you inhabit it.
Her imagination is also to be lauded. As a lesbian writer, Donogue manages to infuse the lifestyle into the very fabric of the story, weaving it almost seamlessly, complete with all the joys and consequences of the taboo. In her book Kissing The Witch: Old Stories in New Skins, Donoghue rewrites the best known fairytales of our time, connecting them one with the other and changing the ending slightly. Rapunzel does not find her Prince but weeps over the fallen Witch and asks, “Who were you before you bought me for a handful of radishes? And she said, Will I tell you my own story? It is the tale of a brother.” And those lines lead us into the next story, that of the Snow Queen. It is artful the way that she ties each story the one before it and the one after it. I adore fairytales and I adore this book.
Donoghue is an excellent writer with an imagination of color and characters who, even centuries old, happily and willingly become all her own.