Wicked ; The life and times of the wicked witch of the west by Gregory Maguire ; Illustrations by Douglas Smith
New York : Regan Books, 1995. First edition. Hardcover. 406 pages ; 25 cm. Price clipped dust jacket. Small nickel size chip at the center of the dust jacket front. Pages are unmarked and binding is firm.
THE PEOPLE OF OZ SPEAK
Elpkaba, the Wicked Witch of the West
"It is the nature of evil to be secret."
''You know I have more money than I can give away.... I never imagined that doing public charity would provide such a rush."
Princess Nastoya of Scrow
"When the times are a crucible, when the air is full Ofcrisis . . . those who are the most themselves are the victims."
Wizard of Oz
"The thing is, my green girlie, it is not for a girl, or a student, or a citizen to assess what is wrong. This is the job of leaders."
When Dorothy triumphed over the so-called Wicked Witch of the West in Frank Baum's tales, we heard only Dorothy's side of the story. The Wicked Witch we think we know is the predictable, green-faced villainess straight out of MQv'f's imagination. But there s more to the story than that. Where did the Wicked Witch come from? How exactly was she wicked? Why shouldn't she want her sisters charmed shoe and, most important, what is the true nature of evil?
Following the traditions of Gabriel Garcia Mårquez, John Gardner, and J. R. R. Tolkien, Wicked is a richly woven tale that takes us to the other, darker side of the rainbow as novelist Gregory Maguire chronicles the Witch's odyssey through the complex world of Oz—-where people call you wicked if you tell the truth.
Years before Dorothy and her dog crash-land, another little girl makes her presence known in Oz. This girl, Elphaba, is born with emerald-green skin—no easy burden in a land as mean and poor as Oz, where superstition and magic are not strong enough to explain or to overcome the natural disasters of flood and famine. But Elphaba is smart, and by the time she enters the university in Shiz, she becomes a member of a charmed circle of Oz's most promising young citizens: her roommate Glinda, a dippy socialite with a knack for sorcery; Boq, the lovelorn Munchkin; Fiyero, a tribal prince from the primitive West of Oz; and Nessarose, Elphaba's beautiful, religiously witchy sister, who lacks nothing save 070 arms and the spirit of compassion.
Elphaba's Oz is no utopia. The Wizard's secret police are everywhere. Animals—those creatures with voices, souls, and minds—are threatened with exile. Young Elphaba, green and wild and misunderstood, is determined to protect the Animals—even if it means combating the mysterious Wizard, even if it means risking her single chance at romance. Ever wiser in guilt and sorrow, she can find herself grateful the declares her a Witch. And she can even make herself glad for that young girl from Kansas.
In Wicked, Gregory Maguire has taken the largely unknown world of Oz and populated it with the power of his own imagination. Fast-paced, fantastically real, and supremely entertaining, this is a novel of vision and re-vision. Oz will never be the same again.
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