And the girl in the corner said boy I want to warn you It’ll turn into a ballroom blitz. – The Sweet, “The Ballroom Blitz“
This story‘s harder than “Burning Girls” also by Veronica Schanoes. Harder in that its words are sharper, uglier, darker, but also because it’s more honest, which makes it harder to process. “Burning Girls” is a fantasy, a reminder that “Jews were here” in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and in the history of the New York City. It reimagines Rumpelstiltskin as one of the lilim (demonic children of Lilith). It takes a familiar story and makes it Jewish. Read On
She’s just a girl, and she’s on fire… She’s living in a world and it’s on fire – Alicia Keys, “Girl on Fire“
“This is no place for a girl on fire.” – Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, based on the book by Suzanne Collins.
Veronica Schanoes‘s “Burning Girls“, available for free on Tor.com, isn’t the story I expected it to be. I should have picked up on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire reference earlier than I did. I was more interested in the other reference, the lilim and the significance of names, and I was thoroughly curious about Schanoes’s reference materials. I need to get my hands on them, stat. In spite of the cityscape cover, for some reason I was expecting something more in the vein of Elizabeth George Speare’s The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Read On