Review by Willard Manus
Alice! Alice! We never seem to tire or get enough of Alice, our muse,
our little girl in distress, our nineteenth century doppelganger. The
trappings and images of Wonderland continue to fascinate us--the portmanteau
language, the characters who act as if they're figments of the universal
dream world--and never seem to fade despite darker, often sinister, possibilities.
We loved the book as children and many of us carry that love into an adulthood
that seems increasingly Wonderland-like in terms of surreality and absurdity.
Yet nothing is sacred in the literary world, not even Alice of the Wonderland
frock, and the writers in this anthology blend fiction with fact and speculation
so that the fictional Alice and the other Alice, the real Alice, perform
a shadowy arabesque worthy of the puzzles, games, and amusements of Wonderland's
"Victoria Popkin integrates the actual novel into a brutal story about child abuse and escapism, Katie Roiphe looks at that abuse from Mrs. Liddell's point of view, and Beth Bachmann has Dodgson contemplate his actions in light of today's child pornography rulings."
ALICE REDUX is every bit as provocative and imaginative as Peabody claims it us, a trip down the Looking Glass that's almost as captivating and rewarding as the one in Alice in Wonderland.