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Picturing a World


It's always a delight when a writer in a well-ploughed field comes up with an inventive twist. I think that's what happened when Liz Williams introduced her wose character, Hob, in Blackthorn Winter. Once upon a time Hob was human, but he has been transformed into an animated figure made of sticks and is being chased by otherworldly dogs. He reminds me of Charles Vess's illustrations of Charles de Lint's Apple Tree Man as well as corn dollies, the infamous Wicker Man, and, of course, woodwoses. Yet as far as I can tell, he is Williams' own contribution to the world of the folkloric imagination. If anyone knows of another analogue or origin, please leave a comment. Meanwhile, brava, Liz Williams!

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