This review has been a long time coming… Because it has taken me forever to finish the book… Ugh, this seriously made reading into a chore, I had to force myself to read a bit every time I got the book out… Not a good thing…
Title: My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales
Author: Multiple (Forty)
Goodreads Synopsis: The fairy tale lives again in this book of forty new stories by some of the biggest names in contemporary fiction.
Neil Gaiman, “Orange”
Aimee Bender, “The Color Master”
Joyce Carol Oates, “Blue-bearded Lover”
Michael Cunningham, “The Wild Swans”
These and more than thirty other stories by Francine Prose, Kelly Link, Jim Shepard, Lydia Millet, and many other extraordinary writers make up this thrilling celebration of fairy tales—the ultimate literary costume party.
Spinning houses and talking birds. Whispered secrets and borrowed hope. Here are new stories sewn from old skins, gathered by visionary editor Kate Bernheimer and inspired by everything from Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” and “The Little Match Girl” to Charles Perrault’s “Bluebeard” and “Cinderella” to the Brothers Grimm’s “Hansel and Gretel” and “Rumpelstiltskin” to fairy tales by Goethe and Calvino and from China, Japan, Vietnam, Russia, Norway, and Mexico.
Fairy tales are our oldest literary tradition, and yet they chart the imaginative frontiers of the twenty-first century as powerfully as they evoke our earliest encounters with literature. This exhilarating collection restores their place in the literary canon.
My Thoughts: As I said way up top, this book was a chore… Out of the forty “new tales” there was probably less than ten that were actually interesting. And so many of the titles you could not figure out what story they were. The authors would say things like “instead of an old witch, I made her a nosy neighbor” or something to that effect. Oh, but I did learn that people really like the story of the ten brothers turned into swans. Yeah, at least five of the forty stories were about them, must have been something in the water when these authors were young…
The few stories that I did like were, usually, easily identifiable (I hadn’t actually heard of some of them) and still maintained the folk/fairy tale feel. Even in the different settings or with the characters changed you knew what section of the library it belonged in. And the meaning or lesson was still there. What is the point of a retelling if you change it so much that the basic core has changed?
Honestly I don’t have a whole lot to say about this anthology, and I really don’t recommend it unless you like making enjoyment into never ending work.
Has anyone else read this anthology? What did you guys think? Retellings or resuckings?