Sunday, April 7, 2013

Old Wine, New Bottles

Like many longtime readers, I remember devouring fairy tales as a kid. Now that I've gotten older, I've discovered the literary phenomenon of the retold fairy tale. This is where an author takes a familiar tale and spins it out into a full-length novel. Sometimes they uphold the characters and events, sometimes they upend them. But it's always an interesting read.

Margo Lanagan's Tender Morsels is a harrowing version of "Snow White and Rose Red." After a childhood filled with sexual abuse, Liga escapes to a safe dream world with her two daughters, Urdda and Branza. But when they're almost grown, the walls between the world she lives in now and the world she left behind are breached, and her daughters must learn to live with pain as well as joy.

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst is based on "East of the Sun, West of the Moon." It's sort of a Beauty and the Beast tale, except the castle is made of ice and the beast is a giant polar bear. In Durst's version, eighteen-year-old Cassie is kidnapped from her father's Arctic research station by a giant polar bear, who holds out the promise of helping her find her long-missing mother.

A Curse Dark As Gold, by Elizabeth Bunce, is a retelling of Rapunzel. If "Tangled" didn't do it for you, or even if it did, you'll want to sink into this lush and intricate tale of Charlotte, a girl struggling to keep the family mill going. When a funny little man claiming to be able to spin straw into gold offers her a deal that could save the mill and her family, she wonders if she can afford his price.

What was your favorite fairy tale? Maybe you can read it in a whole new way.

1 comment:

  1. It seems like Bunce's novel is closer to the story of Rumplestilskin than Rapunzel.


What can I post on your wall?
Commenting & Posting Guidelines

Welcome to your library on social media!

Pima County Public Library (PCPL) offers blogs and other social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter for educational, cultural, civic, customer service, and recreational purposes. They provide a limited (or designated) public forum to facilitate the sharing of ideas, opinions, and information about library-related subjects and issues.

By choosing to comment or post on our social media accounts, you agree with the following:

Comments and posts are moderated by library staff, and the library reserves the right to remove any that are unlawful or off topic. Posts containing the following may be deleted:
Copyright violations
Off-topic comments
Commercial material/spam/solicitation
Sexual content, or links to sexual content
Threatening or harassing postings
Libelous or other kinds of personal attacks
Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity
Content that reveals private, personal information without permission
Vulgar language or content
Comments in support of or in opposition to political campaigns or ballot measures
Content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other classification

P.S. Protect your privacy. Don't post personally identifying information in these public spaces, including details like your library card number, phone number, or medical information, etc.

Young people under age 18, especially, should not post information such as your school, age, phone number, and address.