Long, long ago before fairy tales were sanitized, generations of bloodthirsty children enjoyed the ghoulish stories packed between book covers by Hans Christian Andersen and the brothers Grimm. Their plots seethed with curious, featherbrained girls who sealed their doom by opening forbidden doors; resourceful siblings deliberately lost in the woods by weak, loving fathers; and boys left with wings for arms when a hurried transformation was bungled. Margaret Atwood
, Francine Prose
, and Fay Weldon
are among the 24 contemporary women authors in Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
who contribute lucid, powerful essays on the fears, morals, and archetypes fairy tales scrawl out in letters ten-feet tall. --Francesca Coltrera, Women's Studies contributing editor
From Library Journal
Editor Bernheimer, formerly a creative writing fellow at Phillips Exeter Academy, has brought together 24 contemporary women writers to discuss the impact of fairy tales on their personal lives, their work, and the cultures in which they were raised. Authors such as Julia Alvarez, Margaret Atwood, Rosellen Brown, A.S. Byatt, bell hooks, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Joyce Carol Oates, and Linda Gray Sexton write diverse essays, from personal histories to scholarly explications of the tales that continue to resonate, from childhood into adulthood. Amidst a plethora of works on the symbolism and archetypal significance of fairy tales as well as heated debate in many forums concerning the merits of Disney's animated versions, this is a refreshingly honest look at the genre on a realistic and personal level as well as a revealing look at the writers themselves. Recommended for gender studies collections in all school, academic, and public libraries.?Katherine K. Koenig, Ellis Sch., Pittsburgh
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