Ordinary Wonder Tales

Category: Book
By (author): Urquhart, Emily
  LITERARY CRITICISM / Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Folklore & Mythology
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Biblioasis
Published: November 2022
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 8.25in x 5.25in x 0.75in
Our Price:
$ 22.95
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

A journalist and folklorist explores the truths that underlie the stories we imagine-and reveals the magic in the everyday.








"I've always felt that the term fairy tale doesn't quite capture the essence of these stories," writes Emily Urquhart. "I prefer the term wonder tale, which is Irish in origin, for its suggestion of awe coupled with narrative. In a way, this is most of our stories." In this startlingly original essay collection, Urquhart reveals the truths that underlie our imaginings: what we see in our heads when we read, how the sight of a ghost can heal, how the entrance to the underworld can be glimpsed in an oil painting or a winter storm-or the onset of a loved one's dementia. In essays on death and dying, pregnancy and prenatal genetics, radioactivity, chimeras, cottagers, and plague, Ordinary Wonder Tales reveals the essential truth: if you let yourself look closely, there is magic in the everyday.









Review Quote*

Praise for Ordinary Wonder Tales








"The mix of heady and magical will be spellbinding to memoir readers with a ready sense of wonder."-Publishers Weekly








"Urquhart is a folklorist and, in this book, she explores in essays the truth that underlies the fairy tales we know, and the magic in the everyday."-Toronto Star








"Ordinary Wonder Tales will have readers conjuring up memories of their first encounters with fairy tales, fables, and storytelling ... if you're compelled to imagine the mysterious forgotten worlds of imagination, of fables and possibilities ... you'll probably need to pick up [this book]."-Miramichi Reader








"Urquhart draws connections between the experiences of everyday life-love, grief, pride, fear-and the imaginative universes of the stories we tell and retell."-Quill & Quire








"I am devouring it ... It's incredibly current, even urgent."-Joan Sullivan, Newfoundland Quarterly








"With insight, compassion, and skill, Emily Urquhart's essays delve into the intricate wonders of our lives. This book is magical in every sense of the term-a beautiful ode to both the natural world and the supernatural one, and all of the ways in which our human hearts traverse the space between these shifting places."-Amanda Leduc, author of The Centaur's Wife and Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space








Praise for Beyond the Pale








"[Urquhart] isn't afraid to make the personal political, to delve into her particular experience while also acknowledging its limits and investigating what lies beyond them. Urquhart's as interested in championing individuality as she is in embracing our shared humanity. But she never shies away from the fact that cherishing both can be a knotty, contradictory affair."
-Globe & Mail








"A courageous and ambitious book. Beyond the Pale offers an intimate account about raising a daughter with albinism, a lucid portrait of related genetic, medical and social issues, and a disturbing reminder of the brutal violence that many people with albinism continue to face today."-Lawrence Hill, author of The Book of Negroes and Blood: The Stuff of Life








"A brave, thoughtful, clear, and always graceful journey through the terrifying randomness of genetics and the unexpected ways genetic anomalies can mark not just children, but all the lives around them."
-Ian Brown, author of The Boy in the Moon: A Father's Search for his Disabled Son








"A graceful, perceptive rendering of a misunderstood condition."
-Kirkus Reviews








"Folklorist Urquhart writes poetically and movingly about her daughter … readers will weep and smile."

Biographical Note

Emily Urquhart is a journalist with a doctorate in folklore. Her award-winning work has appeared in Longreads, Guernica, and The Walrus, and elsewhere, and her first book was shortlisted for the Kobo First Book Prize and the BC National Award for Canadian Nonfiction. Her most recent book, The Age of Creativity: Art, Memory, my Father and Me, was listed as a top book of 2020 by CBC, NOW Magazine and Quill & Quire. She is a nonfiction editor for The New Quarterly and lives in Kitchener, Ontario.