In Victor LaValle’s “The Changeling,” a Fairy Tale Gets Hard-Boiled

The Changeling
By Victor LaValle
Spiegel & Grau, 448 pp.

Historically speaking, this has always been a mad, mad world, but the 21st century reveals the hallucinatory essence of each day’s “new normal” more vividly than even visionaries like Guy Debord or William Gibson could have predicted. Today’s global societies are not only multilingual and multicultural, but multi-perceptual as well. To accurately reflect this truth in fiction, writers must become so sensitive to pluralistic points of view that their storytelling speaks of, for, and to multiple perspectives at once. Because speculative genres like fantasy, horror, and science fiction specialize in exploring unusual perspectives via myth and metaphor, the literature of “what if” is potentially more useful to any truly ambitious author than the starchy literature of “what is.” Continue reading “In Victor LaValle’s “The Changeling,” a Fairy Tale Gets Hard-Boiled”