Episode 5

Power and Reality in the Midst of Fantasy, with Kelly Braffet | Ep 5

Our Story

Kelly Braffet reads to us from her novel The Broken Tower’s preface, which reads like a myth. These initial pages serve to (re)introduce readers to the characters and their struggles in a fantastic world of magical bonds, warring kingdoms, and a power beyond reckoning.

Our Guest

Kelly Braffet is the author of the Border Lands novels, including The Broken Tower and The Unwilling, as well as the novels Save Yourself, Josie and Jack and Last Seen Leaving. Her writing has been published in The Fairy Tale Review, Post Road, and several anthologies. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University and currently lives in upstate New York with her husband, the author Owen King.

You can purchase a signed copy of The Broken Tower from Oblong Books & Music or anywhere you love to buy books.

Our Conversation

In the discussion that follows the story, we explore the themes from the book and the choices an author makes, particularly when creating her own fantasy world:

  • Themes of power, not just the magical sort, and how this is central to all of Kelly’s work
  • Written in 2020 and 2021, this is a real “pandemic novel” that responds to the moment during it which it was written
  • The dual meaning of “Work,” which describes the magic in this world and the factories that make the book “a capitalist dystopia”
  • The question of whose stories get told and feeling haunted by all the people whose stories were never told
  • The conscious inclusion of differently abled people as well as well as folks across gender identities and sexualities 
  • The question “who am I writing for” and how the author’s choices can hurt certain readers, particularly those with marginalized identities. 
  • Why Kelly chose to create a mythic world that does not replicate our own

Our Music

Music on the show is by the wonderful Beth Sweeney and Billy Hardy, a Celtic Fiddle and multi-instrumental Duo based on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The traditional Irish reel we play at the start of the show is called The College Groves.  Find out about their music and shows at: billyandbeth.com

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About the Podcast

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KnotWork Storytelling
Myths Retold, from Ireland and Beyond

About your host

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Marisa Goudy

Marisa Goudy is a story healer, a writing coach, and a word witch. Her book, The Sovereignty Knot: A Woman’s Way to Freedom, Power, Love, and Magic, was released in 2020.
Marisa nurtures writers and storytellers in her long-running online writing community, the Sovereign Writers’ Knot.
On this show, Marisa combines her passion for story with her love of Irish literature, culture, and folklore and her fascination with the Celtic world. She has a particular love of stories of heroines, goddess, and women whose tales were forgotten by history.