Fairy Tales Reimagined

Essays on New Retellings

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About the Book

Although readers and filmgoers are strongly familiar with Disney’s sanitized child-centric fairy tales, they are quick to catch on to reworkings of classic tales into a contemporary context. The rise is such retellings seems to indicate that readers are hungry for a new narrative, one that hearkens back to the old yet moves the storyline forward to reflect conditions of the modern world.
No mere escapist fantasies, the reimagined fairy tales of the late 20th and early 21st centuries reflect social, political and cultural truths. Sixteen essays consider fairy tales recreated through short stories, novels, poetry, and the graphic novel from both best-selling and lesser-known writers, applying a variety of perspectives, including postmodernism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, feminism, queer theory and gender studies. Along with the classic fairy tales, fiction from writers such as Neil Gaiman (Stardust) and Gregory Macquire (Wicked) is covered.

About the Author(s)

Susan Redington Bobby is an associate professor of English at Wesley College. She is the editor of Fairy Tales Reimagined: Essays on New Retellings (McFarland, 2009), the author of Beyond His Dark Materials: Innocence and Experience in the Fiction of Philip Pullman (McFarland 2012), and the author of a critical essay in the His Dark Materials Casebook (Palgrave 2014).

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Susan Redington Bobby
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 270
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4115-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5396-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Foreword: The Affect of Fairy Tales

KATE BERNHEIMER      1

Introduction: Authentic Voices in Contemporary Fairy Tales

SUSAN REDINGTON BOBBY      5

Redefining Gender and Sexuality

Queering the Fairy Tale Canon: Emma Donoghue’s Kissing the Witch

MARTINE HENNARD DUTHEIL DE LA ROCHÈRE      13

Contemporary Women Poets and the Fairy Tale

CHRISTA MASTRANGELO JOYCE      31

Struggling Sisters and Failing Spells: Re-engendering Fairy Tale Heroism in Peg Kerr’s The Wild Swans

BETHANY JOY BEAR      44

Found Girls: J.M. Barrie’s Peter & Wendy and Jane Yolen’s “Lost Girls”

JOANNE CAMPBELL TIDWELL      58

Inventions and Transformations: Imagining New Worlds in the Stories of Neil Gaiman

MATHILDA SLABBERT      68

Rewriting Narrative Forms

“And the Princess, Telling the Story”: A.S. Byatt’s Self-Reflexive Fairy Stories

JEFFREY K. GIBSON      85

Between Wake and Sleep: Robert Coover’s Briar Rose, A Playful Reawakening of The Sleeping Beauty

MARIE C. BOUCHET      98

Winterson’s Wonderland: The PowerBook as a Postmodern Re-Vision of Lewis Carroll’s Alice Books

MAUREEN TORPEY      111

“I Think You Are Not Telling Me All of This Story”: Storytelling, Fate, and Self-Determination in Robin McKinley’s Folktale Revisions

AMIE A. DOUGHTY      122

Remembering Trauma and Dystopia

The Complete Tales of Kate Bernheimer: Postmodern Fairytales in a Dystopian World

HELEN PILINOVSKY      137

The Fairy Tale as Allegory for the Holocaust: Representing the Unrepresentable in Yolen’s Briar Rose and Murphy’s Hansel and Gretel

MARGARETE J. LANDWEHR      153

“This Gospel of My Hell”: The Narration of Violence in Gaétan Soucy’s The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches

LAUREN CHOPLIN      168

Revolutionizing Culture and Politics

Negotiating Wartime Masculinity in Bill Willingham’s Fables

MARK C. HILL      181

Philip Pullman’s I Was a Rat! and the Fairy-Tale Retelling as Instrument of Social Criticism

VANESSA JOOSEN      196

The Wicked Witch of the West: Terrorist? Rewriting Evil in Gregory Maguire’s Wicked

CHRISTOPHER ROMAN      210

Embracing Equality: Class Reversals and Social Reform in Shannon Hale’s The Goose Girl and Princess Academy

SUSAN REDINGTON BOBBY      221

Comprehensive Bibliography      237

About the Contributors      247

Index      251

Book Reviews & Awards

“a brilliant collection of essays…. These essays urge you to go reread every fairy tale you have ever read, then to go read the new renditions, and then see them all in an entirely new light…. It is easy to lose yourself in these essays”—Mythlore; “this is the type of book students are always seeking when they are researching their own papers…helps to fill the large gap…most impressed with the wide range of topics…strong scholarship”—surlalunefairytales.blogspot.com; “interesting insights and intriguing readings of fairy-tale authors old and new”—Journal of Folklore Research; “about fairy tales as elements in contemporary fiction…perfectly lucid and informative”—Critical Mass.