Map of Dreams
I am soooooo excited about M. Rickert's first story collection, Map of Dreams, finally being published. Mary asked me a while back to write the introduction for the book, and I was both amazingly excited to do so, because from the publication of her very first story, "The Girl Who Ate Butterflies", in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, I've been in love with her writing, and since the time she and I both attended The Blue Heaven Novel Workshop together, she's come to be one of my closest and most treasured friends. While I was in Japan, I often heard from Mary through email and once through a large box of wonderful books that she'd sent me, and through our emails I shared quite a bit of my experiences in Japan, the way I was feeling at various times, that I never wrote about in this journal. I think I didn't realize it as I was doing it, but Mary had become one of my most important confidantes over that time. When I got back from Japan, though everything looked and felt familiar, I was bewildered in a really odd way, too, not sure of why I was home again. I think I spent the first month in a sort of shock, not really emotionally engaged with the world around me so much. And then I went to Wiscon, and as I was checking in at the front desk of the hotel, Mary saw me and walked up to me, and me, carrying about five huge bags I'd traveled with, dropped them all on the floor around me and hugged her for about five minutes and found myself crying without knowing why. It was the first time I'd actually cried since coming home. I think seeing Mary, who is someone who defines what home is for me, finally woke me up from disorienting dreams of coming back to a country that had become a stranger to me while I was away from it. Each time I read one of Mary's stories, the same thing happens. I come home all over again.
You should definitely, above all else, get this book as soon as possible. (The cover image on the Amazon.com and Powells.com pages are different from the one shown here. But the cover image I've posted is the one you'll get when you order this gorgeous book.)