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Exclusive: Brian Michael Bendis, Greg Rucka, Rachel Pollack, Maggie Downs, and Catherynne Valente announced for Literary Tarot

The Literary Tarot

Brink Literacy Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the world through storytelling, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for The Literary Tarot. This is an ambitious and unusual collaboration with some of the greatest authors and cartoonists of our time who have been asked to pair a tarot card with a seminal book that embodies the meaning of the arcana.

The campaign has been a hit with almost 7,000 backers and raising over $400,000.

The Literary Tarot deck will feature the complete set of all 78 tarot cards, illustrated with a stunning limited palette and foil accents. We have the exclusive announcement of five new pairings that will be a part of this project.

  • Brian Michael BendisThe War of the Worlds and the King of Ink
  • Greg RuckaThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and the Knight of Ink
  • Rachel PollackOedipus Rex and the King of Ink
  • Maggie DownsLeaves of Grass and the Eight of Ink
  • Catherynne ValenteCanterbury Tales (Wife of Bath) with the Empress

The Literary Tarot deck will feature the complete set of all 78 tarot cards, illustrated with a stunning limited palette and foil accents.

Major Arcana card pairings include:

  • Bestselling crime writer Chelsea Cain pairs The Emperor with Agatha Christie’s Poirot Investigates
  • PEN/Faulkner Award-winning novelist K-Ming Chang (Bestiary) pairs The Magician with Wu Cheng’en’s sixteenth-century novel Journey to the West
  • Amal El-Mohtar (author of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award-winning novella This Is How You Lose the Time War) pairs The Star with Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Emily of the New Moon
  • Lev Grossman (The Magicians Trilogy) pairs The World with King Arthur
  • Guggenheim Fellowship recipient Victor LaValle (The Changeling) pairs The Tower with H.P. Lovecraft’sThe Outsider
  • Talia Lavin (the author of Cultural Warlords and the host of the Moby Dick Energy podcast) pairs The Devil with Herman Melville’s Moby Dick
  • Isaac Marion (the author of the bestselling Warm Bodies series) pairs The Hermit with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein 
  • Bestselling Mexican Gothic novelist Silvia Moreno-Garcia pairs The Lovers with Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence
  • The bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng, pairs The Hanged Man with T. S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
  • Nebula, Hugo, and Locus Award-winning novelist Rebecca Roanhorse (Black Sun) pairs Death with Bram Stoker’s Dracula 
  • Quill Award-winning novelist Patrick Rothfuss (The Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy) pairs The Fool with Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote
  • Simon Tolkien (No Man’s Land: A Novel) pairs The Chariot with Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island
  • Novelist and comic book writer G. Willow Wilson (The Bird King) pairs the Wheel of Fortune with William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair

For the Minor Arcana, each suit is renamed to reflect the literary tools that brought them to life (Ink, Quills, Light, and Parchment). Minor Acana Pairings include:

  • Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award-winning writer Charlie Jane Anders (Victories Greater Than Death) pairs the Knight of Light (Cups) with Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones
  • Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale) pairs the Queen of Light (Cups) with Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre
  • Vita Ayala (The Wilds) pairs the King of Light (Cups) with Homer’s The Odyssey
  • Bestselling author Leigh Bardugo (Ninth House and Shadow and Bone) pairs the Ace of Parchment (Pentacles) with Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden
  • Tarot reader and host of The Word Witch Podcast Charlie Claire Burgess pairs the Eight of Quills (Swords) with Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick (co-creator and writer of Bitch Planet) pairs the King of Quills (Swords) with Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations
  • Bestselling writer Roxane Gay (The Bad Feminist) pairs the King of Parchment (Pentacles) with Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • The Hugo Award-winning writer of Die, Kieron Gillen, pairs Five of Quills (Swords) with Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment
  • Bestselling horror writer Stephen Graham Jones (The Only Good Indians) pairs the Three of Quills (Swords) with W. W. Jacobs’s seminal, supernatural short story “The Monkey’s Paw”
  • Hart Hanson (creator of the TV series Bones and author of the novel The Driver) pairs the Page of Ink (Wands) with Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain
  • Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning writer Kelly Link (Get in Trouble) pairs the Two of Parchment (Pentacles) with Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees
  • The award winning writer of Monstress, Marjorie Liu pairs the Queen of Quills (Swords) with Beowulf
  • Bestselling comic book writer Mark Millar (Jupiter’s Legacy) pairs the Ace of Quills (Swords) with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • Erin Morgenstern (The Starless Sea) pairs the Five of Light (Cups) with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
  • Novelist and biographer Alec Nevala-Lee pairs the Two of Quills (Swords) with Sophocles’s tragedy Antigone
  • Novelist and comic book writer Benjamin Percy (The Ninth Metal) pairs the Seven of Quills (Swords) with Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat
  • Bestselling comic book writer Mark Waid (Kingdom Come) pairs the Page of Quills (Swords) with Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

The artists for Literary Tarot are:

  • Major Arcana: Samantha Dow
  • Light: Shan Bennion 
  • Ink and Box Design: Ejiwa “Edge” Ebenebe 
  • Quills: Isabel Burke 
  • Parchment: Bradley Clayton 

The campaign ends on June 30, so back it now!

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