A master of disguise tries to seduce the sun, a horticultural club tours a dream-garden, a fishwife is serenaded by a severed head, a lunar king appeals to the people of earth one last time. These are a few of the characters you’ll meet in this collection of 37 tales, each conjured by Derek Owens in response to the surreal art of Caroline Golden.
Golden was inspired by the “supporting cast” in fairytales and fables. She writes, “As a child, I was always curious about the rarely mentioned characters residing within those magical spaces; what untold stories might they have to share?” As an artist, she painstakingly brought them to life in a series of hand-cut collaged portraits titled “The Villagers”. These characters sat hidden in a drawer until, in the peculiar liminal space created by the COVID-19 pandemic, author and artist Derek Owens chanced upon some of them via Instagram. He approached Golden with the idea of writing in response to them, and she agreed. Owens writes, “I’d study one of her Villagers before going to bed, or before taking an afternoon nap and then, upon waking, start scribbling the fables sprouting from her fanciful characters.” And so, The Villagers, a unique collaborative work, was born.
You are formally invited to enter this enchanted everwhen: an eclectic gallery of whimsical souls; a chorus of voices fanciful, dark, and strange.
Text adapted from the publisher’s press materials
ABOUT THE BOOK The Villagers Art by Caroline Golden Fables by Derek Owens 147 pages; hardcover 9.25”x6.375” ISBN: 978-1-7365167-6-8 $35.95 USD Animal Heart Press, Spring 2022