fairy tales Archive

For the (Physical) Love of Books

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A few weeks ago, I found myself in a public state of lust. My object of desire? There before me, in a display fit for a museum, was a cloth-bound sketchbook of Ireland with “78 pages of watercolors by ‘Miss Collis,’ circa 1890.” I loved it. I wanted it.

Bodies in “The Bloody Chamber”

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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.

Wishes Gone Wrong: A Woman’s “Place” in Fairy Tales

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“I wish” is a foolish phrase in fairy tales. It even has its own Aarne-Thompson tale type (750A), aptly called “Foolish Wishes.” It’s easy to see why wishing pops up in stories (and movies and television), but why are wishes so often foolish?

Origin Stories: Kathryn Davis’s DUPLEX

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Duplex begins with a suburban street, a woman walking her dog, fireflies prickling in the gathering dark, boys playing stick ball, and headlights rounding the curb. Totally normal, except that the dog walker likes to go out “when the blue-green lights of the scows, those slow-moving heralds of melancholy,

The Fairytale Redux: On Patrick deWitt’s “Undermajordomo Minor”

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The last thing the world needs is another reimagining of the fairy tale. It has been done from every angle: straightforward, post-modern, and (yawn) from the villain’s perspective. So it was with some wariness that I approached Patrick deWitt’s new novel, Undermajordomo Minor, a fairy tale of sorts that

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Rain” by Ben Loory

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In her essay, “Fairy Tale is Form, Form is Fairy Tale,” (from The Writer’s Notebook, Tin House Books) Kate Bernheimer discusses how the psychological flatness of characters in tales and fables “allows depth of response in the reader.” In Ben Loory’s “Rain” (Journal of Compressed Creative Arts), we’re given

The Color Master: An Interview with Aimee Bender

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Certain stories never leave you. When I was six years old, I read such a story in Alvin Schwartz’s In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories: “The Green Ribbon.” In it, a young girl named Jenny wears a green ribbon around her neck and never takes it off.