Reviews and Awards:
- “Speaking as someone fascinated by all animals from earliest childhood, I found Imaginary Animals to be an intriguing and thought-provoking discovery. Scholarly and well-researched, without being either ponderous or condescending, it is written with real wit, and with a contagious delight in its subject rare in such a study. I would recommend it enthusiastically to anyone interested in the astonishing range of folkloric, religious, cultural, philosophic and political symbolism with which human beings have regarded and ceaselessly recreated real animals in our time together on this planet.” Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn
- "A thought-provoking analysis of bestial creations, this illustrated compendium by Boria Sax scrutinizes artistic and literary models, ranging from Chauvet cave art from 36,000 BCE to political cartoons, graphic Japanese novels, and postmodern robotics. Conclusions about the nature and purpose of fantasy animals draw on scripture, anthropology, medicine, myth, and psychology . . . An intriguing, highly readable reference work at a low price, Sax’s multifaceted work covers a host of reference needs. Recommended." – M. E. Snodgrass, Choice, April 2014
- "Author Boria Sax argues that monsters help us by giving concrete form to our fears, while ‘wonders’ incarnate our hopes. Enlisting cultural support, weather from Hieronymus Bosch or PT Barnum, this teacher at Sing Sing prison shows how mermaids and dragons, even superheroes and Tamagochis, help us measure what it means to be human. A well illustrated and philosophically sophisticated book." – World of Interiors
"One of his last insights helps us see into the future of animal creation and human re-creation: “All animals, no matter whether they exist or in what sense, are products of the same dialectic of reality and imagination” (250). His book’s intention has been to reveal just such a truth; it points us to the larger questions of the nature of reality, our role in creating it and being shaped by it, and our quest to see through what is known to the mystery of what still remains invisible, unknown and waiting...."
Dennis Patrick Slattery, Pacifica Graduate Institute