When stories transport me, they usually do it inside a character’s body, and the farther afield the story is taking me, the more important the physical details of the characters’ experiences become.
Women in stories often get punished. In fairy tales, it’s often for greed or pettiness or vanity or a slew of other reasons. But the heroines of fairy tales also get punished.
My childhood copy of The Secret Garden is unusually pristine for one of my books though I read it many times. Two of us must have worked hard to keep it that way; the book was my mother’s before it was mine. Next to the flowery, rabbity bookplate I