I, like many in my generation, am a child of divorced parents. They split for good the summer before my 5th grade, so I guess I was somewhere around 9 or 10 when they finally called it quits. My sister, Sarah Shay, was the ripe old age of 1. And out of that entire nasty business, one real, unexpected tragedy was that because I lived with our dad and Sarah lived with our mom, for many years ours was a relationship far closer to cousins than brother and sister.
That changed when she moved to Austin (awesome) but the the point is this: there weren’t a lot of fairies, ballet slippers, or tea parties growing up. Nor were there unicorns.
If you check the links to the right you’ll see, near the bottom, one titled Whatever. It’s a blog written by a gent named John Scalzi, and in addition to being just a great read, his blog also provides a platform for writers to introduce and talk about their books. Very cool. It’s called The Big Idea and you can find that particular section’s main page here.
Not long ago the featured book was about, you guessed it, unicorns. I’ve included the first paragraph of author Diana Peterfreund’s introduction below and after reading her big idea I’m definitely going to pick up a copy. You might want to do the same.
I feel sorry for unicorns. No other mythical monster has suffered such brand degradation. Nowadays, unicorns are synonymous with weak, childlike, unrealistic naivety. You don’t see folks dissing dragons the way they do unicorns. No one ever equates griffins with rainbows, glitter, and six year olds. The sphinx isn’t cheesy. But the unicorn? The symbol of kings, the darling of artists, the keeper of a magical horn whose rumored mystical properties once made it worth more than its weight in gold and almost drove a real species (the narwhal) to extinction? The unicorn has become laughable.
Photo by Snappa2006