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Aelfraeda and the Red City

Author: Bronwyn Davies


Aelfraeda’s story is not a linear tale whose pleasure and significance lie only in its capacity to entertain. It is emotionally gripping and immersive; it is a tale that has connections forward and back in deep time. It has connections to questions that lie beyond itself, such as reconciliation, pandemics, and human relations to the environment. It is deeply philosophical, each chapter starting with a quote from philosophical writing that has influenced the way I have written each of the 13 chapters. Although it could be read as happening any time and anywhere, Australian readers will recognize the clues that make it an Australian work.


Additional information

Weight 1 kg
Category: Product ID: 19465


Aelfraeda and the Red City is made up of 13 closely woven stories, beginning when Aelfraeda is 16 years old, escaping from the confines of the walled-in Red City. Before she was born, Aelfraeda’s brutal, despotic step-father had seized power, turning the Red City, into a walled-in nightmare. Aelfraeda’s story is a feminist, and ecological version of the hero-journey, delving into the power of difference and diversity. Once she escapes the Red City, Aelfraeda moves among multiple relationships, cultures and languages. She sheds the binary categories that might originally have shaped what she could become. Not solely male or female, but gender-fluid. Not separate from the landscapes she travels through, but integral to them. Those landscapes, themselves, have life and power. The wetlands she travels through, and the forests, are alive with humans/elves/dragons/indigenous people, each profoundly affecting each other. Through her relations with others, and her ability to respond to them, and to listen to them, Aelfraeda learns new languages, and her capacity to listen is what eventually enables the Red City to become an extraordinary place of healing and openness, under her leadership as the elven matriarch.
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