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The Faery Handbag
Transcript of The Faery Handbag
by Kelly Link
Born in 1969
Attended Columbia University, undergrad
Attended UNC Greensboro, MFA
Clarion East Writing Workshop
Clarion East Writing Workshop
writing workshop for new and aspiring science fiction and
Many of her stories are described as "magic realism" blending science fiction, mystery, fantasy, horror, and realism
Greatest Literary Influence
Her stories vary from fairy tales to fantasy with realistic elements
The story starts off with the
talking about thrift shopping with her friends and she says that they play a game where they feel the clothes and try to guess what
She says she goes to the thrift shop every week looking for
. Then she goes on to tell the story of her grandmother Zofia and the handbag.
Zofia liked to tell stories and she called herself a
because they were
stories that didn’t really make sense.
Zofia and her granddaughter would always play Scrabble and one day Zofia made the word
and claimed that’s where she was born and where she grew up. When her granddaughter tried to look it up she claimed that it was now named something else. Zofia also claimed to be over
200 years old
. Zofia told her if she opened the handbag
you would end up in the village where she grew up. However, if you opened it
, you would end up in a dark place where a skinless dog guarded the purse.
Zofia also told her about how she married a Russian deserter and had the narrator’s mother. When they would get into arguments, he would go into the handbag and be gone for
in the handbag. The narrator told
, her love since the third grade, about the handbag and he wanted to go inside. While they were at the movies, he
into the handbag and was never seen again. While they were trying to think of a plan to get him out, Zofia
. She is also Zofia’s granddaughter and she listens to the stories that her grandmother tells and sometimes has a difficult time believing them.
Antagonist/ the grandmother
. She tells crazy stories, calls herself a liar, and tells people not to believe her. This makes it hard for Genevieve to decipher whats real or fake.
. He was in love with her since the first day that he met her. He likes to do Houdini like magic tricks. He was curious about the handbag and ended up disappearing into the handbag.
. He would come in and out of the handbag looking as if he hadn’t aged at all
It was told in
point of view of
The narrator is a
Throughout the story we are told numerous times
not to believe
anything Zofia says
At the end we are even told
not the believe
the story at all
Throughout the entire story the reader is left wondering whether or not to believe certain aspects of the story
In the end, it is implied that the Zofia was telling the truth. However, her truth is so bizarre that readers are left wondering.
Do you think Jake disappearing was one of his Houdini like magic tricks? Or was Zofia telling the truth all along?
What do you think the handbag symbolized?
"Not that you should believe this story. Promise me that you won’t believe a word."
"Fairies live inside it. I know what that sounds like, but its true."