Fables and Spells
Fables and Spells
Fables and Spells is part of the Emergent Strategy Series.
Visionary fiction and poetry from bestselling author adrienne maree brown.
Fables and Spells is a vibrant selection of visionary works, both previously published and brand new. Included here is brown’s most beloved story, “The River,” as well as the two sequel tales of her Water Trio. The remaining sixty-seven pieces explore moments of beauty, conflict, and transformation that also weave deep, radical lessons. With narrative “fables” of speculative fiction and “spells” that play with the lines between poetry, instruction, song, and chant, Fables and Spells demonstrates how good writing can engage the present while providing expansive visions of the possible worlds humans can build.
Praise for Fables and Spells
★ "The 70 short stories and poems that make up brown’s phenomenal debut collection (after the novella Grievers) explore social justice through an Afrofuturist lens…It’s a masterful mix of genre and form that showcases brown’s range and skill. This should be required reading for anyone looking for Black feminist speculative literature."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"adrienne maree brown is a force of nature, a stream of wisdom, and an oracle for our times. Luminous creativity permeates this work. While acknowledging the deep despair the world grapples with, adrienne maree brown reminds us that all of nature is adaptive and that witching is, and always has been, the way to alchemize the complexities we are confronted with. These spells are cast with our wellness centered and our humanity uplifted."
—Chani Nicholas, New York Times bestselling author of You Were Born For This
"Fables and Spells is potent ancestral cartography. It is a deep well of truths, musings, maps, medicine, and healing extended from adrienne’s ancestral throughline connecting to our own, amplifying the ways we engage in witching for love, liberation, and change.”
—Omisade Burney-Scott, author of Black Girl’s Guide to Surviving Menopause
"I felt such a deep connection to myself and my community while reading Fables and Spells. It gave me permission to feel like I knew it all and also nothing ... like I'm tapped into an energy so rich and abundant but also so depleted and tired. The stories reminded me that we all have the capacity to heal and destroy."
—Juju Bae, host of A Little Juju Podcast
“What an exquisite gift this cauldron of Fables and Spells is! adrienne maree brown re-enchants our practices of deep listening and spell crafting, calling us to drink deeply and imagine more wildly. A prophetic voice for our time, adrienne (once again!) channels mycelial and celestial wisdom into remedies in the form of radical tales that guide the way to the world we dream of and grief and praise songs that help us realign with life itself. Full of both urgency and a sense of deep time, this is a book for our altars and our go bags in a world on fire, one you will return to again and again, the pages stained with potion and candlewax.”
—Dori Midnight, community care practitioner
adrienne maree brown is the author of Emergent Strategy, the New York Times best-selling Pleasure Activism, We Will Not Cancel Us, Holding Change, and Grievers. brown grows transformative ideas in public through her writing and art; she is a poet changing the world. She is the writer-in-residence at Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute.