SICA-USA is proud to report that we have awarded Emmanuel Williams $300 for his young adult novel Crinolina. From the grant application:
As a child Kati was sexually abused by her father. Now, at 16, she has a boyfriend, Timothy. They get on well, but when she tells him of the abuse but he turns cold. Artistically talented, Kati sketches a witch-like girl named Crinolina. She senses that Crinolina is a real person. Kati drops out of school; one afternoon she enters a cave in a redwood tree and is transported to Crinolina’s world. Crinolina was almost abducted by Pike, chief of the Malia tribe, as she was working in the community gardens. She was rescued by her friend Oddstock who broke Pike’s kneecap in a fight. Anticipating a revenge attack on her village, Crinolina went alone to the Malia village to seek a resolution but failed and was held captive.
Kati helps Crinolina to escape back to her village where Kati then meets the Alia tribe.
Persecuted in early America, the Alia were transported by “The Great Light” to a parallel domain on Planet Earth. Members of a matriarchal community, they live in harmony with nature. Some villagers are hostile towards Kati because of the history of persecution, but the Mothers welcome her. Kati travels with Crinolina and two Mothers to the coast for healing, then returns to work with Crinolina in the children’s learning area.
Kati falls in love with Oddstock and Crinolina falls in love with Coreo, a member of the Avia (bird people) community. There are problems. Oddstock’s stepfather strongly disapproves of Kati – A. because she’s a human, and B. because he knows of and is repelled by her history of abuse. Coreo, still coming to terms with his bird nature, migrates in early winter and is blown by a storm into the territory of the Ongles, fierce creatures who attack him. A group of Avias and Alias rescue him and a battle ensues. He heals from his wounds but still can’t be open with Crinolina so she returns to her Alia village.
Pike and his men are overpowered by a force of Alias and Avias, and Pike is made captive. Kati has learnt to fly (a skill many Alias possess) and with Crinolina helps to renovate the Malia village. Pike is expelled, and his soldiers are set to work in the village. Coreo finally evolves from part bird to fully human, and sets off on a long trek through a snowy landscape to find Crinolina.
Crinolina believes that plans must be made for more children in the Alia and surrounding communities. When she fails to elicit support for this project, she and Kati find Pike and ask for his help. He now has a partner, has mellowed, and agrees. Kati realizes that the expected children are human. She and Mrs. Smith – another “refugee” from the human world – work with a group of Alias to plan a journey to the human world (through the redwood cave) to gather children and their parents and bring them back. They also plan to perform Alia music and “air dances”. Before Kati, Mrs Smith and their Alia friends leave there’s a tense confrontation with a very dark psychic entity which ends with the entity’s expulsion back to its home star. Finally, 10 Alias and humans gather in the tree cave and leave with a whoooosssh.
The novel is told in 2 alternating voices- Kati and Crinolina. My aim was to write a story with thematic as well as narrative interest. Themes include the environment, the “domains” (otherwise known as “The Great Chain of Being”), and prejudice. “Crinolina” has been read and enjoyed by a number of older teens. I taught for 50 years and know the audience.
Please join us in celebrating this much-loved Subud writer.