One of the many highlights of attending the Annual Meeting of the American Folklore Society last month--besides meeting so many wonderful people and hearing the papers--was perusing the publishers' display tables. A few of the presses were also generous and offered me review copies of books either there or by mail later. Wayne State University Press sent me several of the books I was missing from their wonderful Series in Fairy-Tale Studies, essentially finishing out my personal collection since I had purchased some of the titles previously. Now that I've had a chance to peruse them, I wanted to spend a week highlighting the titles, at least one a day.
Some Day Your Witch Will Come (Fairy-Tale Studies) by Kay Stone is the first book I'm highlighting.
First, the publisher's desciption:
In this enjoyable volume, Kay Stone has selected writings from her scholarly articles and books spanning 1975–2004 that contain reflections on the value of fairy tales as adult literature. The title Some Day Your Witch Will Come twists a Walt Disney lyric to challenge the typical fairy-tale framework and is a nod to Stone’s innovative and sometimes unconventional perspective. As a whole, this collection is a fascinating look at both the evolution of a career and the recent history of fairy-tale scholarship.
The volume is organized in three chronological sections, beginning with Stone’s influential early work on women in fairy tales. The second section explores her developing interest in traditional tales told by contemporary tellers, and the final section focuses on Stone’s more recent comparisons of dreams and folktales as artistic expressions. In addition to challenging the genres of folktales and storytelling, a distinctive feature of this work is the wealth of material from interviews, which bring readers’ responses into conversation with the scholar’s work. A preface by the author, a foreword by series editor Donald Haase, and brief introductions to each piece are also included.
Some Day Your Witch Will Come is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in Stone’s writings. As such, it will be informative and entertaining for both general readers and scholars in a variety of fields, including folklore and fairy-tale studies, women’s studies, psychology, cultural studies, and literature.
And here's the table of contents which I always find the most important element (and so often hard to find on the internet):
Foreword by Donald Haase ix
Preface: Approaching the Witch xiii
Introduction: Some Day Your Witch Will Come 1
I. FAIRY TALES AND WOMEN
1. Things Walt Disney Never Told Us (1975) 13
2. Fairytales for Adults: Walt Disney’s Americanization of the Marchen (1980) 24
3. The Misuses of Enchantment: Controversies on the Significance of Fairy Tales (1985) 36
4. Feminist Approaches to the Interpretation of Fairy Tales (1986) 55
5. Three Transformations of Snow White (1988) 62
II. FAIRY TALES AND STORYTELLING
6. Oral Narration in Contemporary North America (1986) 77
7. Once Upon A Time Today: Grimm Tales for Contemporary Performers (1993) 98
8. Social Identity in Organized Storytelling (1998) 115
9. Burning Brightly: New Light from an Old Tale (1993) 129
10. Difficult Women in Folktales: Two Women, Two Stories (1997) 146
11. The Teller in the Tale (1998) 171
12. Old Tales, New Contexts (1998) 207
13. Fire and Water: A Journey into the Heart of a Story (2004) 232
III. FAIRY TALES AND DREAMS
14. In My Mother’s Garden (2004) 251
15. The Golden Woman: A Dream and a Story (2004) 265
16. Follow Your Frog (2004) 277
17. Some Day Your Witch Might Come (2004) 289
Epilogue 307One of the more interesting elements of this collection for me was the timeline. With roughly 30 years of scholarship collected here, it was interesting to see how Stone's opinions changed. Popular topics and opinions tend to come and go in scholarship and Stone followed the trends as we all are prone to do. And that is not a discredit of her work in any way, it is merely my fascination with the vagaries of a decades long career. Don Haase says as much in his foreword. (And heaven knows SurLaLune itself would be quite different in many areas today if I were to start it from scratch now. Oh, yes, it would! That's part of my motivation with the SurLaLune book titles although they are only part of what I would change on the site...)
Works Cited 321
Permissions Acknowledgements 331
Aarne-Thompson Tale Types 333
Still, for those of you especially interested in women and fairy tale issues as well as Disney and fairy tales, this is a solid resource for the work by Stone as well as her bibliography. Do I admit now that one of the first ways I judge a book these days is by turning to the bibliography? The articles about storytelling are also interesting. Overall, this book hit many of my personal favorite topics with fairy tales and it will definitely be staying on my burgeoning shelves as a future reference.