Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fairy Tales at the American Folklore Society's 2013 Annual Meeting

The American Folklore Society's 2013 Annual Meeting will be held on October 16-19 at the Omni Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island. The full program has been published in PDF online and I have pulled the most directly related fairy tale papers and sections and listed them below. But if you love folklore, pretty much everything in the 169 page program will interest you. You may register for the Annual Meeting at a discounted preregistration rate until August 31.

And, as always, I highly recommend membership in the AFS with its network and publications and access to academia in general. I have to renew my membership this month and it's never a thought to not renew.

There are a lot of great papers listed and it is making my decision not to attend this year. I attended the conference in 2010 when it was here in Nashville and thoroughly enjoyed myself despite being on some heavy duty medication and the most ill I've ever been in my adult life (although I think I managed to hide it pretty well and, no, I wasn't contagious). But I barely had the brain or energy to maintain concentration or conversation and still I enjoyed every moment.

Popular Culture, Fandom and Play
03-12 Blackstone
Monica Foote (Indiana University), chair
8:00 Christy Williams (Hawai‘i Pacific University), Mapping Fairy Tale Space: Genre and
Geography in ABC’s Once Upon a Time
8:30 Jeremy Stoll (independent), Of Fans and Folk: Sustaining Community in India’s Comics Culture
9:00 K. Brandon Barker (Indiana University), Ping-Pong: A New Folk Illusion and Its
Complication of Director/Actor Roles
9:30 Monica Foote (Indiana University), Simulation Games: Role Playing, Identity Formation, and Power

Williams, Christy (Hawai’i Pacific University) Mapping Fairy Tale Space: Genre and Geography in ABC’s Once Upon a Time. Translating the genre of fairy tales into a geographical location where characters from different fairy tales mingle and intervene in each other’s stories is not a new narrative trick, and ABC’s Once Upon a Time is the newest retelling to take this approach. This paper will examine (1) the technique of translating genre into geography, including the narrative restructuring enabled by collapsing distinct fairy tales into a single world, and (2) how this metaphor of genre as physical location is a useful way of thinking about stories and the process of reinventing traditional tales for new times and places. 03-12

Feasting on Granny’s Flesh: Little Red Riding Hood’s Pedagogical Possibilities in the General Education Classroom
04-12 Blackstone
Linda J. Lee (University of Pennsylvania), chair
10:15 Robin Gray Nicks (University of Tennessee), Wolves, Girls, and Wolf Girls: Teaching “Red
Riding Hood,” Teaching Analysis
10:45 Adam Zolkover (independent), Teaching Freud with Fairy Tales: Dreams and
David Kaplan’s “Little Red Riding Hood”
11:15 K. Elizabeth Spillman (Pennsylvania State University), “Once Upon a Time I…”: Teaching
Memoir through Fairy Tales
11:45 Linda J. Lee (University of Pennsylvania), Revising Red: Adaptation as Interpretation in
ATU 333, “Little Red Riding Hood”

04-12 Paper Session: Feasting on Granny’s Flesh: Little Red Riding Hood’s Pedagogical Possibilities in the General Education Classroom. The presentations in this session consider a variety of pedagogical approaches to using fairy tales in general education classrooms. Students from nonliterature majors who are reluctant to read longer, seemingly more challenging texts will often enthusiastically read fairy tales—only to find that these narratives challenge their expectations about what a fairy tale is and what it can mean. We consider various ways that a single tale type—”Little Red Riding Hood” (ATU 333)—can be incorporated into different college courses, including composition, humanities, and literature courses. Each paper focuses on a specific lesson plan or assignment and considers how engaging with fairy tales more generally—and with specific versions of “Little Red Riding Hood” more particularly—explicitly addresses challenges presented by the general education classroom.

Lee, Linda J. (University of Pennsylvania) Revising Red: Adaptation as Interpretation in ATU 333, “Little Red Riding Hood.” This paper considers the value of using fairy tales as an entry point for teaching literary analysis in a humanities classroom. Here I offer an example of using multiple versions of “Little Red Riding Hood” (ATU 333) to model textual analysis and interpretation, with a specific focus on adaptation as interpretation. Through a directed close reading exercise, I solicit students’ readings of several traditional versions (Perrault’s “Red Riding Hood,” the Grimms’ “Little Red Cap,” and “The Story of Grandmother”) as preparation for examining short film adaptations, such as David Kaplan’s “Little Red Riding Hood” and Jorge Jaramillo and Carlo Guillot’s “RED.” 04-12

Nicks, Robin Gray (University of Tennessee) Wolves, Girls, and Wolf Girls: Teaching “Red Riding Hood,” Teaching Analysis. In my sophomore course “Twisted Fairy Tales,” I combine the pedagogical theories of Freire and hooks—encouraging dialog, exploration, and responsibility—with Vygotsky’s “scaffolding.” We begin by close reading early versions of the tale, challenging students’ childhood interpretations and uncovering admonishments about dangerous men and sex. Through basic feminist theory, we explore Angela Carter’s subversion of those early texts. Finally, we examine Grimm’s pilot episode, which returns to warning about sexual predators, and Ruby from Once upon a Time, who hearkens back to Carter’s seminal revisions. Scaffolding skills and using the Socratic method allow students to reach more advanced analysis. 04-12

Spillman, K. Elizabeth (Pennsylvania State University) “Once Upon a Time I…”:
Teaching Memoir through Fairy Tales. This presentation considers fairy tales as gateway texts to creative and purposeful memoir writing. The novel challenge of shaping a personal narrative may be both exciting and intimidating to composition students; familiar fairy tale structures provide a framework to make the task more approachable and more enjoyable, while adapting well to both simplification and elaboration. Throughout the unit, fairy tales become the lens through which students examine storytelling techniques, scrutinize existing memoirs, and share short structured narratives before finally crafting their own memoirs with full creative freedom. In this presentation, I address the challenges, evolutions, and outcomes of this unit over four semesters. 04-12

Zolkover, Adam (independent) Teaching Freud with Fairy Tales: Dreams and David Kaplan’s “Little Red Riding Hood.” This paper approaches the problem of teaching Sigmund Freud’s Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis in a humanities seminar. It examines a snapshot lesson in which, through a directed close reading of David Kaplan’s 1997 “Little Red Riding Hood,” students test the logic and limits of Freud’s discussion of dreams, and the extent to which it is applicable—and valuable—for interpreting folk and literary texts. And it reflects on the applicability—and the value—of fairy tales as an avenue for teaching theory to undergraduates. 04-12

Diversity and Sustainability in the French and Francophone Tale Tradition
05-13 Executive Board Room
Anne E. Duggan (Wayne State University), chair
2:00 Charlotte Trinquet (Rollins College), Rapunzel, What’s Wrong With Your Hair?
A Spatiotemporal Analysis of the Motifs in ATU310
2:30 Lewis C. Seifert (Brown University), The Tales of Ti-Jean: Hybrid Origins and
Paradoxical Meanings
3:00 Philip Whalen (Coastal Carolina University), The Gender Politics of Burgundian Festival Puppetry
3:30 Anne E. Duggan (Wayne State University), Métissage and the French Tale Tradition:
The Impact of Galland’s Translation of The Arabian Nights

Trinquet, Charlotte (Rollins College) Rapunzel, What’s Wrong With Your Hair?
A Spatiotemporal Analysis of the Motifs in ATU310. Between the first written version of “Petrosinella” by Giambattista Basile and the recent Disney movie Tangled, Rapunzel has been traveling on many meaningless roads thanks to an important misinterpretation of the motif of the parsley made by Mlle de La Force when she rewrote the Neapolitan version in 1697. Here, I will show that for nearly four centuries, this misreading has endured in European folklore and literary reinterpretations, until Disney replaced the main motif of the parsley for the one of Rapunzel’s hair, finally rewriting a fairy tale that is coherent within the societal context of its creation. 05-13

The Folk in Literature and the Literary Folk
05-14 South County
Stephen D. Winick (American Folklife Center, Library of Congress), chair
2:00 Amber N. Slaven (University of Louisiana, Lafayette), Inverted Pilgrimage in
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
2:30 Linda Kraus Worley (University of Kentucky), The Wild Man (and Woman)
in a 19th-Century Fairy Tale by the Austrian Author Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach
3:00 Larry Ellis (Arizona State University), Narrative Lore and Memory in Eudora Welty’s
The Robber Bridegroom
3:30 Stephen D. Winick (American Folklife Center, Library of Congress), The Creation Myths of
Stratford-Upon-Aspen, or, Shakespeare Is Quoting Us

Ellis, Larry (Arizona State University) Narrative Lore and Memory in Eudora Welty’s
The Robber Bridegroom. Eudora Welty’s The Robber Bridegroom charts the disappearance of frontier culture in the lower Mississippi valley of the early 19th century through a contemplation of the passing of a society fancifully defined by the conventions of fairy tale and legend. Welty’s “Old Southwest,” presented as a comic mosaic of deconstructed folk narrative, celebrates an innocence that must give way to the inevitability of change. However, the memory of a romanticized past endures in folk narrative to mitigate the harsh realities of what will take its place. 05-14

Worley, Linda Kraus (University of Kentucky) The Wild Man (and Woman) in a 19th-Century Fairy Tale by the Austrian Author Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. The wild man and woman are not just figures in medieval tales and folklore but play pivotal roles in Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach’s 1872 fairy tale “Die Prinzessin von Banalien” (“The Princess of Banalia”). This paper briefly examines changes in the wild figures from the middle ages into the 19th century, then focuses on their roles in Ebner’s mid-19th-century tale that positions them in an erotic world far from the “civilization” of court life and normative views of “love.” 05-14

Fairies, Demons, and Wordsworth, Oh My!: The Intersection of Supernatural Folk Belief,
Narrative, and Literature Sponsored by the Folk Narrative Section 
06-04 Providence I
Sara Baer Cleto (The Ohio State University), chair
8:00 Victoria Harkavy (George Mason University), The Demons that Define Us:
Supernatural Legends and Jewish Sense of Identity
8:30 Brittany Warman (The Ohio State University), “Her Eyes Were Wild”: Fairylore and the
Gothic Aesthetic in Romantic Poetry
9:00 Sara Baer Cleto (The Ohio State University), Wordsworth, the Folk, and Folklore:
Strategies of Appropriation and Adaptation
9:30 Stephen D. Winick (American Folklife Center, Library of Congress), discussant

Warman, Brittany (The Ohio State University) “Her Eyes Were Wild”: Fairylore and the Gothic Aesthetic in Romantic Poetry. The folklore surrounding the world of the British fairies has always been unsettling and sinister. Though this fact is frequently overlooked in the typical, lighthearted modern conception of fairies, the poets of the Romantic period knew their dangers well. I will explore the conceptualization of fairies in British Romantic poetry and the ways in which fairylore informed the Gothic aesthetic in these texts, with examples including “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” by John Keats, “Queen Mab” by P. B. Shelley, and “Christabel” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 06-04

Paving Divergent Paths: Reflections on the 30th Anniversary of Jack Zipes’s
Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion 
08-04 Providence I
Jennifer Schacker (University of Guelph), chair
2:00 Jennifer Schacker (University of Guelph), L. Frank Baum, Fairy Tale Discourse, and the
History of Folklore
2:30 Nancy Canepa (Dartmouth College), The Everyday Marvelous of Giambattista Basile’s
Neapolitan Fairy Tales
3:00 Christine A. Jones (University of Utah), French Versions of Subversion
3:30 Molly Clark Hillard (Seattle University), Victorian Literature and Fairy Tale Methodologies

08-04 Paper Session: Paving Divergent Paths: Reflections on the 30th Anniversary of Jack Zipes’s Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion. Frequently challenging disciplinary boundaries, characterized by methodological and theoretical diversity, stirring debate about the meaning and significance of “canonical” texts, fairy tale studies shows all the signs of intellectual vibrancy. This panel commemorates and traces some specific lines of influence of a study published 30 years ago, when fairy tale studies was in its disciplinary infancy: Jack Zipes’s Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion (1983). Members of this panel seek to isolate some of the most significant and enduring questions raised in Art of Subversion and to trace the influence of that study, even as we have followed divergent paths.

Canepa, Nancy (Dartmouth College) The Everyday Marvelous of Giambattista Basile’s Neapolitan Fairy Tales. Zipes’s contextualization of fairy tales, especially the early European tradition, provided crucial theoretical gravitas to cultural approaches at a time when studying fairy tales was still sometimes seen, in the academic world, as a “lightweight” scholarly endeavor. His work validated my own impulse to interrogate the how and why of Basile’s choices in the context of the Italian and Neapolitan culture in which he participated: how he writes in nonstandard Neapolitan dialect and fashions a playful version of Baroque prose, and why he writes tales distinguished by biting social satire, meticulous anthropological detail, and a murky moral landscape. 08-04

Hillard, Molly Clark (Seattle University) Victorian Literature and Fairy Tale Methodologies.
Jack Zipes’s work led me to consider how fairy tales and legends matter to authors at a particular time, but also how authors are indebted (sometimes reluctantly, sometimes even secretly) to a fairy tale’s entire print history. I trace my work on one Victorian poem, Robert Browning’s “Pied Piper of Hamelin,” from my reading of the poem as a serious commentary on authorial rights and child labor to my wider treatment of the Victorian use of fairy tales and legends in my forthcoming book Spellbound—explaining how Zipes’s analysis forever shaped the way I apprehend major authors’ “minor” literature. 08-04

Jones, Christine A. (University of Utah) French Versions of Subversion. Thirty years ago, France’s fairy tales were not the center of any history: neither the synchronic account of literary innovation in 17th-century France, nor the diachronic account of tale motifs and themes that traveled across the world. Jack Zipes placed them at the center of both an ideological print trajectory that reached into the 1960s and a local view of French cultural production. I grew up in French studies in the golden age of Zipes and have taken recently to turning his own powerful method of inquiry onto a legendary writer that Art of Subversion dismissed as unsubversive: Charles Perrault. 08-04

Schacker, Jennifer (University of Guelph) L. Frank Baum, Fairy Tale Discourse, and the
History of Folklore. Although it constitutes just part of a chapter, Jack Zipes’s work on L. Frank Baum’s “Oz” books stood in contrast to extant scholarship on the series in its insistence on locating Baum’s work in the context of late 19th-century “fairy tale discourse.” This paper will examine the shift in focus this entailed, but also the changes in scholarly perception of 19th-century tale discourse/s that have occurred over the past 30 years. Specifically, I suggest that the questions raised in Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion have offered a productive framework for critical reassessment of 19th-century folklore scholarship. 08-04

Texts in Contexts 
09-08 Washington
Rosemary V. Hathaway (West Virginia University), chair
8:00 Derek Sherman (The University of Findlay), The Fairy of the Past and the Present:
A Comparative Analysis of the Shakespearean Fairy vs. the Disney Fairy
8:30 Suzanne MacAulay (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs), Communities and the
Public Imaginary: Ten Years of the “Poetry of the Wild” Project
9:00 Katie Dimmery (University of Michigan), Farmers, Authors, Writers, and Priests:
Textual Production in Rural Southwest China
9:30 Rosemary V. Hathaway (West Virginia University), Death by Folklore: The Legend That
Killed Nella Larsen’s Literary Career

Sherman, Derek (The University of Findlay) The Fairy of the Past and the Present:
A Comparative Analysis of the Shakespearean Fairy vs. the Disney Fairy. Fairy lore has
long been popularized by a plethora of cultures, especially by Disney. Therefore, it is the goal of this study to determine the various representations of fairy folk in Shakespeare’s time period and compare/contrast them to the American Disney fairy. Looking at the infamous Cottingley photos and fairy houses will also help in determining and comparing/contrasting the fairy image. Primary research—i.e. interviews, viewing a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London, and visiting Cottingley, United Kingdom, where photos and lore will be collected—will be the main research conduit for this study. 09-08

Fairy Tale Studies: Sustainability, Continuity, and Where We Go From Here, Part I See also 11-05
10-05 Providence II
Cristina Bacchilega (University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa), chair
10:15 Donald Haase (Wayne State University), The History and Future of Fairy Tale Studies
10:45 Maria Tatar (Harvard University), Making Something from Nothing
11:15 Jeana Jorgensen (Butler University), When Fairy Tales Learned to Count:
Digital Fairy Tale Scholarship
11:45 Jennifer Orme (Ryerson University), Can a Dirty Fairy Send Queer Theory to the
Fairy Tale Studies Ball?

10-05 Paper Session: Fairy Tale Studies: Sustainability, Continuity, and Where We Go From Here, Part I. Since the 1960s, the fairy tale’s relentless production and reception have fueled the burgeoning field of fairy tale studies. Now, scholars face a massive global corpus of folktales and fairy tales, a shape-shifting genre, and critical questions about the sustainability of fairy tale studies as a multidisciplinary field. This two-part panel series considers strategies for sustaining the field’s momentum. The first panel focuses on characteristics that shaped contemporary fairy tale studies and new perspectives, methods, and directions having the potential to shape its future. The second panel focuses on the geocultural/political perspectives necessary for maintaining the field’s sociocultural and academic significance. See also 11-05.

Haase, Donald (Wayne State University) The History and Future of Fairy Tale Studies.
Fairy tale studies emerged as a distinct historical and critical phenomenon in the last three decades of the 20th century and continues to influence research on folktales and fairy tales today. This paper reviews the genesis of contemporary fairy tale studies, documents the crucial role of Grimm scholarship and American Germanists, considers the reasons for the movement’s expansion and sustained trajectory, and explores questions, problems, and challenges regarding its future as a coherent, multidisciplinary, and socially meaningful phenomenon. 10-05

Jorgensen, Jeana (Butler University) When Fairy Tales Learned to Count: Digital Fairy
Tale Scholarship. Digital and computational methods have infused fairy tale studies with new vigor—depending on where we draw the boundaries around valid scholarship, if that is even a project that we should pursue. I will evaluate recent trends in applying quantitative methods to fairy tales, as well as the impact of the internet on propagating fairy tale scholarship. Among other things, the fine line between fandom and amateur or nonspecialist scholarship will inform this discussion of scholarly standards, the benefits and drawbacks of rapid information dissemination, and what we stand to gain or lose by embracing or ignoring digital trends in scholarship. 10-05

Orme, Jennifer (Ryerson University) Can a Dirty Fairy Send Queer Theory to the Fairy Tale Studies Ball? As scholars become more interested in the possibilities queer theory can bring to fairy tale studies, I ask how these possibilities may be conceived and their potential limitations. I begin with the premise that there is much to be gained from this union, but recognize that the unstable and shifty nature of queer theory means careful work must first be done to ensure meaningful discussions. To this end, I will outline key aspects of queer theory as it may relate to fairy tale studies and perform a queer reading of the illustrated children’s book Prince Cinders. 10-05

Tatar, Maria (Harvard University) Making Something from Nothing. Part of the art (and magic) of fairy tales is their power to make something from nothing. Once told around campfires and fireside, they were sustained by the play of light and shadow. Both “Rumpelstiltskin” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes” are self-reflexive in their meditations on the ability to turn the insubstantial or invisible into things of beauty that dazzle those invested in everything that glitters and shines. My presentation will identify the underlying antimaterialistic force of folkloric narratives and trace efforts to commodify and fetishize their talismanic elements. 10-05

Fairy Tale Studies: Sustainability, Continuity, and Where We Go from Here, Part II
See also 10-05
11-05 Providence II
Donald Haase (Wayne State University), chair
2:00 Sadhana Naithani (Jawaharlal Nehru University), Continuity and Sustainability
2:30 Cristina Bacchilega (University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa), Conceptualizing Contemporary
Adaptations in a Worldly Fairy Tale Web: Promises and Challenges
3:00 Uli Marzolph (Enzyklopädie des Märchens), The Arabian Nights Forever: Three Hundred
Years of Studying The Thousand and One Nights
3:30 Bill Ellis (Pennsylvania State University, Hazleton), Princess Tutu: Anime as Creative Fairy Telling

Bacchilega, Cristina (University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa) Conceptualizing Contemporary Adaptations in a Worldly Fairy Tale Web: Promises and Challenges. While the proliferation of fairy tale adaptations in contemporary globalized culture does not guarantee the articulation of new social possibilities for the genre, adopting the fairy tale web as a general site for critical inquiry into the genre’s activity can help scholars become better attuned to competing uses of magic, enchantment, and wonder across cultures and media platforms. Thinking through promises and challenges that this methodology poses, I draw on examples from reading contemporary “Snow White and Rose Red” adaptations and discuss a worldly fairy tale studies in relation to antiglobalizing geopolitics of culture (Walter Mignolo, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o). 11-05

Ellis, Bill (Pennsylvania State University, Hazleton) Princess Tutu: Anime as Creative Fairy Telling. The Japanese anime series Princess Tutu (2001–03) involves a sick prince and the wicked princess who poisons his soul, plus a young girl given magical gifts to save him. But she and the others recognize that they are merely puppets in the hands of a sinister storyteller. They rebel against the tale and, internalizing the praxis of “fairy telling”—that is, by enacting a new story within the genre’s rules—they liberate themselves. The series thus encourages audiences to see “fairy tale” not as a closed canon of established stories but as a dynamic process for creating an infinite number of narrative experiences. 11-05

Naithani, Sadhana (Jawaharlal Nehru University) Continuity and Sustainability.
To think about sustainability of folk and fairytale studies we need to look at the continuities too. And this is where the problem is: do we imagine a sustainability which is based on continuity? The problem is a dialectical one, for if continuities were sustainable we would not think about sustainability. Indeed, continuities need to be critically examined so as to evolve more sustainable models of folk and fairy tale studies. The present models draw on European forms of folk/fairy tales. We need to ask whether to achieve sustainability the core of the present model needs to be radically transformed. 11-05

Negotiating Gender: Ordering and Reordering the World
11-08 Washington
Barbara Hillers (Harvard University), chair
2:00 Afsane Rezaei (Western Kentucky University), Inverted Religious Orders and Hierarchies in
Two Iranian Muslim Women’s Rituals
2:30 Linda Pershing, Amanda Lenox, and Melissa Martinez (California State University,
San Marcos), Negotiating Gender and Mother-Daughter Relationships in Brave, Pixar’s
2012 Fairy Tale Film
3:00 Varalakshmi Ramisetty (Osmania University), Cultural Sustainability of the
Koya Women in Andhra Pradesh, India
3:30 Barbara Hillers (Harvard University), From Mother to Son: The Transmission of
“Feminine” and “Masculine” Folktales in the Repertoires of Peig Sayers and Her Son,
Mícheál Ó Gaoithín

Pershing, Linda (California State University, San Marcos) Negotiating Gender and Mother-Daughter Relationships in Brave, Pixar’s 2012 Fairy Tale Film. The first Pixar/Disney fairy tale film directed by a woman, Brave features female self-determination and the complex negotiation of a mother-daughter relationship. Set in medieval Scotland, the protagonist, Merida, is an independent, rebellious, and athletic young woman who longs for freedom. Rather than a male love interest, her primary relationship is with her mother, Elinor. We examine gender dynamics in this cinematic fairy tale, including attempts by Pixar executives to mute and co-opt the feminist storyline. 11-08

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Book: Moonlight & Ashes by Sophie Masson

Moonlight & Ashes by Sophie Masson will be released next week here in the U.S.

Book description:

Cinderella takes fate into her own hands in this brand new tale by Sophie Masson

Welcome to the story of Cinderella as you've never heard it before. There is a girl whose fortunes have plummeted from wealthy aristocrat to that of a servant girl. A magic hazel twig, a dashing prince, and a desperate escape from danger combine to tell the story of a girl who refuses to allow her fairy godmother to arrange her future for her. Instead, this is the story of Selena who will take charge of her own destiny and learn that her magic is not to be feared but celebrated. Pure fairytale—with all the romance, magic, and adventure that goes along with it.

Monday, August 26, 2013

New Book: Little Red Hot by by Eric A. Kimmel (Author), Laura Huliska Beith (Illustrator)

Little Red Hot by by Eric A. Kimmel (Author), Laura Huliska Beith (Illustrator) was released earlier this year. I recently received a review copy and was rather tickled by the book--a new twist on Little Red Riding Hood, obviously. Kimmel has a series of Texan-influenced fairy tale retellings and this is one of my favorites in the bunch.

I've been quiet on the blog as I finish upcoming books in the little free time I've enjoyed this summer. But I have been also getting in a few minutes here and there to update pages on the SurLaLune main site, such as Book Galleries and Modern Interpretations pages. If you are interested in seeing more of the latest releases of Little Red Riding Hood books, go to the Book Gallery.

On with some comments and images from the book:

I've read countless interpretations of Little Red Riding Hood over the years and this one offered a new, unexpected premise:

Folks called her that because she loved to eat red hot chili peppers.


Folks used to say that Little Red Hot could eat fire out of a stove.

Little Red Hot would answer, 'No, I wouldn't do that. Fire ain't hot enough!'

And that sets up a fun story with a feisty heroine. How she uses the peppers to outwit the wolf is pretty much expected but still fun all the same. Laura Huliska-Beith's illustrations show that Little Red Hot is never fooled by the wolf, but is only toying with him until she can get rid of him with little danger to herself.

And, for concerned parents, neither Grandma nor any other character is ingested in this book. Little Red Hot saves herself although she gets a good warning of danger from Pecos Bill. All ends happily and some pepper knowledge is shared along the way in both the text and the author's notes.

Book description:

Little Red Hot loves red hot chilli peppers. She eats them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When her grandmother catches a cold, Little Red makes her a hot pepper pie that will "knock those cold germs right out of her". But before Little Red shares her pie with Grandma, she meets Señor Lobo. The pie comes in very handy when the wily wolf tries to trick her into thinking he's her grandmother.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Bargain Ebook: Faery Tales & Nightmares by Melissa Marr

Faery Tales & Nightmares by Melissa Marr is bargain priced in ebook format to $1.99 today only.

The hardcover--Faery Tales & Nightmares-- is also bargain priced at $7.40 (less than the paperback) for however long the inventory lasts.

Book description:

Faery Tales & Nightmares is an anthology of short stories by Melissa Marr, many set in the world of her Wicked Lovely series.

Marr revisits favorite fan characters such as faeries Niall and Irial, and introduces fascinating new beings, including a vampire, a pair of selchie brothers, and a goblin. The strange creatures can appear anywhere, coming from the sea, from the woods, from inside storms; they may come seeking to bring destruction or to find a passionate encounter…

Lush, seductive, and chilling, the stories in Melissa Marr’s Faery Tales & Nightmares blend fairy tales and folklore, horror and fantasy, and allow us to revel in the unseen magic that infuses the world as we know it.

Grimm Season One on Sale and Slight Thoughts on the Series

Grimm: Season One is currently $19.99 on Amazon, 50% off list price. It usually ranges about $32 during the year, but with the new season about to begin, the set is discounted for a short while.

And while we are here, I never imagined this series would end up getting a third season! I'm not an avid watcher but I personally enjoy it more than OUAT if I turn off my fairy tale analyzing brain. The series has solved some of its problems by introducing more female character regulars as well as other tweaks. And, of course, there is always Monroe. And Rosalee.

One of my favorite aspects of both shows, OUAT and Grimm? My internal character analysis of people once they "confess" which show they prefer. It's like a pop culture fairy tale Rorschach test. Telling me which one you prefer tells me very quickly a few things about you. None of it judgmental, mind you, just a bit about your entertainment tastes and a few personality traits perhaps, too. And how they tell me reveals more, too. Many of the OUATers are apologetic (in both senses of the word: 1. regretful acknowledgment and 2. reasoned justifcation) for their tastes while the Grimm fans aren't. Some of it is as simple as "dark is cool" so they don't need to defend Grimm, I guess, and yet OUAT has a much larger fan base overall.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bargain Ebook: Sister Emily's Lightship: and Other Stories by Jane Yolen

Sister Emily's Lightship: and Other Stories by Jane Yolen is currently $1.99 for ebook format. This is a collection of short stories, many of which are inspired by fairy tales. I own it in paper, but am happy to add it to my digital library, too, for this price! From Rumpelstiltskin in "Granny Rumple" (this is the one I always think of first when I see the book) to "Godmother Death", you should be able to find a tale you enjoy here in a nice one-sitting sized bite.

Book description:

In these twenty-eight magnificent tales, which include two Nebula Award winners, Jane Yolen puts a provocative spin on familiar storybook worlds and beloved fairy tale characters

One of the most acclaimed and honored authors in science fiction and fantasy, Jane Yolen has been called “the Hans Christian Andersen of America” for her brilliant reimagining of classic fairy tales. In her first collection of short stories written for an adult audience (after Tales of Wonder and Dragonfield), Yolen explores themes of freedom and justice, truth and consequence, and brings new life to our most cherished fables and myths.

Here are storybook realms rendered more contemporary, and cautionary tales made grimmer than Grimm: Snow White is transported to Appalachia to match wits with a snake-handling evil stepmother and Beauty’s meeting with the Beast takes a twisty, O. Henry–esque turn; in Yolen’s Nebula Award–winning “Lost Girls,” a feminist revolt rocks Peter Pan’s Neverland and in the collection’s glorious title story—also a Nebula winner—the poet Emily Dickinson receives some unexpected and otherworldly inspiration. Sometimes dark, sometimes funny, and always enthralling, Sister Emily’s Lightship is proof positive that Yolen is truly a folklorist of our times.

This ebook features a personal history by Jane Yolen including rare images from the author’s personal collection, as well as a note from the author about the making of the book.

Monday, August 19, 2013

New Book: Sleeping Beauty's Daughters by Diane Zahler

Sleeping Beauty's Daughters by Diane Zahler is released next week. Zahler also wrote Princess of the Wild Swans and The Thirteenth Princess and A True Princess.

Book description:

Princesses Aurora and Luna have grown up in a cliff-top palace by the sea, where they are carefully protected by their parents, the king and queen. No one visits, the girls cannot stray beyond the castle walls, and, curiously, all sharp objects are forbidden from the castle.

But accidents will happen—particularly when an old curse still has power. Soon, in spite of all precautions, Aurora is struggling not to slip into an enchanted sleep.

Frantic, the princesses accept the help of a young fisherman named Symon and embark on a daring ocean voyage to find their aunt—a fairy who may be able to break the spell. From fearsome beasts to raging storms, many dangers befall them, yet they must not give up…for if Aurora sleeps, she will not wake for one hundred years.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dixit: Storytelling Game Bargain Priced Today Only

I wrote about the game, Dixit, in December 2009. Today it is one of the Gold Box deals on Amazon--with several other board games, see Gold Box Deal of the Day 8/17/13: Strategy Games--and I ordered it as soon as I saw it. For $19.99, today only, I am eager to try out this game that appears to be the Balderdash of storytelling. That's 43% off the regular price and by far the best price I've ever seen for a new copy of the game, even a used one.

From my old post:

Dixit by Asmodée Editions is another game I discovered in my browsing this week. It is a storytelling game of sorts developed in France where it won best game of the year in Cannes as well as Games Magazine Awards Best Party Game 2010 Award.

The game is French, obviously, but has descriptions and instructions printed in multiple languages, conveniently one is English. What stands out about this game is how pretty it is. The art by Marie Cardouat is beautiful and features fairy tale imagery in general, not the specific. You can see more images on Board Game Geek. There will also soon be a Dixit 2 available as an expansion pack or stand alone game all its own. It is due out in 2010 from what I understand. When there is an expansion pack, one can assume the game is a bestseller. Just look at Carcassonne or Settlers of Catan games. (2013 Update: There are now SEVERAL expansion packs available).

Here's a description of the game:

Each player at his turn plays the storyteller. He is given a single picture, while the other players get a hand of six pictures. The storyteller says a sentence or a word connected to his picture, then each player chooses one of his pictures to bet upon. All pictures are showed face up, and every player has to bet upon what picture was the storyteller's.

If nobody or everybody finds the correct picture, the storyteller scores 0, and each of the other players scores 2. Otherwise the storyteller and whoever found the correct answer scores 3. Players score 1 point for every vote gotten by their own pic.

The game ends when the deck is empty. The greatest total wins the game.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Jack Frost on MST3K

Many members of my family are big fans of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (MST3K for those in the the know) and many of the DVDs are on sale this week on Amazon. I'm sharing this info here because one fairy tale film is included in the sale, Jack Frost. See the set here at Mystery Science Theater 3000, Vol. XVIII (Lost Continent / Crash of the Moons / The Beast of Yucca Flats / Jack Frost). The Jack Frost episode is a fan favorite and its DVD release was eagerly anticipated by many. The poor film was originally an Eastern European release from long ago but it provides entertaining fodder. And it's cheaper to acquire it for watching this way during the sale and much funnier.

Or you watch it on Mystery Science Theater 3000: Jack Frost Instant Video for $3.99.

Of course, there are also people sharing it on YouTube.

Vote for Your Favorite Young Adult Fairy Tale Sequel at The Hub

fairy tale by pasukara76

Over at The Hub, the YALSA blog for the American Library Association, they have a poll this week for favorite fairy tale sequels. The group is limited to YA titles and only five are offered, but the results of a larger audience should be interesting.

From the post:

This week, we want to know which YA book that explores what happens after a fairy tale ends is your favorite. Vote in the poll below or leave a comment if we’ve omitted a really great fairy tale sequel! (There are lots more, right?)

Which is the best sequel to or aftermath of a fairy tale?

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Enna Burning (Books of Bayern) by Shannon Hale
Fables series by Bill Willingham
Sisters Red (Fairy Tale Retelling) by Jackson Pearce
A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan


You can vote at The Hub. And/or see the ongoing results as more people vote. Fables and Sisters Red are in the lead so far. And if you have a different title, add it to the comments here and I will consider our own SurLaLune vote in the future.