Monday, August 31, 2015

Bargain Ebook: Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente for $2.99

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente is on sale for $2.99 for the ebook format. It is usually $9.99. This is the first time the book has been priced this low. I am very excited since I hadn't added this to my library yet. This book includes many mainstays from Russian fairy tales and folklore, so it should be a treat to anyone interested in them. It's a great cover, too.

Book description:

Koschei the Deathless is to Russian folklore what devils or wicked witches are to European culture: a menacing, evil figure; the villain of countless stories which have been passed on through story and text for generations. But Koschei has never before been seen through the eyes of Catherynne Valente, whose modernized and transformed take on the legend brings the action to modern times, spanning many of the great developments of Russian history in the twentieth century.

Deathless, however, is no dry, historical tome: it lights up like fire as the young Marya Morevna transforms from a clever child of the revolution, to Koschei's beautiful bride, to his eventual undoing. Along the way there are Stalinist house elves, magical quests, secrecy and bureaucracy, and games of lust and power. All told, Deathless is a collision of magical history and actual history, of revolution and mythology, of love and death, which will bring Russian myth back to life in a stunning new incarnation.

Storytelling Quote for a Monday

Storytelling is the oldest form of education.

I changed the page on my Women Reading 2015 Calendar today from August to September and the above quote greeted me at the bottom of the page. I was pleased with it and thought I would share with you. Which then made me think that I needed to go ahead and preorder my 2016 calendar. I love The Reading Woman calendars so I chose this one The Reading Woman 2016 Calendar. I mostly use electronic calendars but somehow having a wall calendar helps me visualize the month better. Besides, it adds a little bit of art to my office library.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Today Only Bargain Ebook: Celia and the Fairies by Karen McQuestion for $1.99

Celia and the Fairies by Karen McQuestion is on sale today only in ebook format for $1.99.

Book description:

When Celia Lovejoy's grandmother moves in with her family, she tells her granddaughter magical stories of fairies living in the woods behind the Lovejoy home. Ten-year-old Celia believes they are just that-stories-until the day she receives an unexpected visit from Mira, a real, live fairy. Mira needs a favor in a matter of the utmost importance. It seems that Celia's house and the adjoining woods are in danger of being demolished to make way for a new highway. The person behind this horrible plan? Vicky McClutchy, a spiteful woman who holds a childhood grudge against Celia's dad. Fairy magic can counteract this evil, but it will only work with Celia's help. Aided by neighborhood friend Paul, Celia begins a danger-filled quest that takes her out in the woods at night to face her greatest fears. This magical tale of a plucky girl combines an entertaining story with an underlying message about the power of ordinary kindness.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Bluebeard: Demoniac or Tragic Hero? by Ian W. Panth

Kierkegaard's Literary Figures and Motifs: Agamemnon to Guadalquivir (Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources) by Katalin Nun (Editor) and Jon Stewart (Editor) has an article of interest to some readers here.

Here's the bibliographic info for the article:

Panth, Ian W. "Bluebeard: Demoniac or Tragic Hero?" in Kierkegaard's Literary Figures and Motifs Tome I: Agamemnon to Guadalquivir. Edited by Katalin Nun and Jon Stewart. Ashgate Publishing, Burlington, VT, 2014, 79-88.

Book description:

While Kierkegaard is perhaps known best as a religious thinker and philosopher, there is an unmistakable literary element in his writings. He often explains complex concepts and ideas by using literary figures and motifs that he could assume his readers would have some familiarity with. This dimension of his thought has served to make his writings far more popular than those of other philosophers and theologians, but at the same time it has made their interpretation more complex. Kierkegaard readers are generally aware of his interest in figures such as Faust or the Wandering Jew, but they rarely have a full appreciation of the vast extent of his use of characters from different literary periods and traditions. The present volume is dedicated to the treatment of the variety of literary figures and motifs used by Kierkegaard. The volume is arranged alphabetically by name, with Tome I covering figures and motifs from Agamemnon to Guadalquivir.

And here's the first lines from Panth's article about Bluebeard:

The literary figure, Bluebeard (Blaubart), gets his name from his “uncanny blue beard” which serves as an external and early warning of the man’s sinister and murderous nature. In his writings Søren Kierkegaard refers to Bluebeard three times. Once each in Either/Or, Part One, Fear and Trembling, and, the unpublished, Johannes Climacus, or De Omnibus dubitandum est.1 After presenting the likely literary sources that lay behind Kierkegaard’s allusions, followed by a brief summary of the key elements in the Bluebeard tales, I will illuminate the role that the allusions to Bluebeard play in each of these three texts. Fear and Trembling and De Omnibus will be treated together. Both the cursory nature of the references and the valuation of the figure of Bluebeard are similar in these two works. The reference in Either/Or, Part One occurs in “The Seducer’s Diary” and will be treated at greater length. In the “Diary,” Kierkegaard’s allusion to Bluebeard is more fully integrated into the narrative.

Panth was kind enough to share the article with me since he references Bluebeard Tales From Around the World (Surlalune Fairy Tale Series) in his notes. I wouldn't have known about this article otherwise and wanted to let you know about it, too. Bluebeard Tales From Around the World (Surlalune Fairy Tale Series) is one of my proudest publishing achievements and I am always thrilled to learn that is has aided someone else's research. Thanks for that! And I learned a little about Kierkegaard, too, so thanks again.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New Release: Dead Upon a Time by Elizabeth Paulson

(US/UK Links)

Dead Upon a Time by Elizabeth Paulson is released this week in the US. It was released this past April in the UK, see Dead Upon a Time (UK Link).

Book description:

When a fairytale-style killer strikes a small town, it's up to one girl to solve the twisted clues -- before the villain writes his own wicked ending.

Monday, August 24, 2015

New Release: The Daughters: A Novel by Adrienne Celt

(US/UK Links)

The Daughters: A Novel by Adrienne Celt is released this week in the US. It will be released on September 15th in the UK, see The Daughters (UK Link). The book doesn't retell a fairy tale per se, but it draws from legends of the Rusalka, the water nymph from Scandinavian folklore. The novel particularly draws from the opera, Rusalka, by Antonín Dvořák.

Book description:

Since the difficult birth of her daughter, which collided tragically with the death of her beloved grandmother, renowned opera sensation Lulu can’t bring herself to sing a note. Haunted by a curse that traces back through the women in her family, she fears that the loss of her remarkable talent and the birth of her daughter are somehow inexplicably connected. As Lulu tentatively embraces motherhood, she sifts through the stories she’s inherited about her elusive, jazz-singer mother and the nearly mythic matriarch, her great-grandmother Greta. Each tale is steeped in the family’s folkloric Polish tradition and haunted by the rusalka—a spirit that inspired Dvorak’s classic opera.

Merging elements from Bel Canto and Amy and Isabelle, The Daughters reveals through four generations the sensuous but precise physicality of both music and motherhood, and—most mysterious and seductive of all—the resonant ancestral lore that binds each mother to the one who came before.

Friday, August 21, 2015

New Book: Fearless (Pax Arcana) by Elliott James

Fearless (Pax Arcana) by Elliott James was released earlier this month, the third full-length book in his series that pulls from Prince Charming fairy tale tropes.

Book description:

When your last name is Charming, rescuing virgins comes with the territory -- even when the virgin in question is a nineteen-year-old college boy.

Someone, somewhere, has declared war on Kevin Kichida, and that someone has a long list of magical predators on their rolodex. The good news is that Kevin lives in a town where Ted Cahill is the new sheriff and old ally of John Charming.

The attacks on Kevin seem to be a pattern, and the more John and his new team follow that thread, the deeper they find themselves in a maze of supernatural threats, family secrets, and age-old betrayals. The more John learns, the more convinced he becomes that Kevin Kichida isn't just a victim, he's a sacrifice waiting to happen. And that thread John's following? It's really a fuse...

FEARLESS is the third novel in an urban fantasy series which gives a new twist to the Prince Charming tale. The first two novels are Charming & Daring.

Short Fiction in the Pax Arcana world:
Charmed I'm Sure
Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls
Pushing Luck
Surreal Estate
Bulls Rush In
Talking Dirty

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella on The Balancing Act

You can click on the above to see it larger, but the gist is this:

Watch Lifetime to meet Cast Members from Cinderella on Tuesday, August 25 and September 1 at 7:30am (ET/PT)
Check local listings for details.

Tune in as The Balancing Act® takes you behind the scenes of the newly reimagined Rodgers + Hammerstein's classic, Cinderella, an updated version for the 21st century. The Balancing Act’s® correspondent, Amber Milt, introduces Paige Faure (“Ella”), the talented leading actress starring in the national tour, as she navigates the demands of her life on stage and off, raising her son on the road and performing eight times per week. We’ll also see the supportive environment Paige shares with her fellow actors including Andy Huntington Jones (“Topher”), who recently found his “fairytale ending.” In addition to Paige and Andy, we’ll hear from Jill Furman (Producer) and Douglas Carter Beane (Book Writer), who re-imagined this classic tale with an inspiring and new contemporary perspective.

I've always had great affection for Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella. I saw a local production of it a few years ago and I found even greater affection for it then. Somehow none of the film versions have thrilled me very much--the Julie Andrews' version--Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1957 Television Production)--is by far my favorite, but the recording and production values make it hard to relax and fully enjoy it, too.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Time for Some Fairy Tale Fun: The Tale of Tales by Giambattista Basile

The Tale of Tales by Giambattista Basile is coming from Penguin Classics on February 9, 2016!

Why am I posting about this release so early, you ask? Because it has amused me for a few weeks now. Keep reading all the way to the end to learn why.

First, here's the book's official overview from the publisher:

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Salma Hayek, John C. Reilly, Toby Jones, and Vincent Cassel: a rollicking, bawdy, fantastical cycle of 50 fairy tales told by 10 storytellers over 5 days

Before the Brothers Grimm, before Charles Perrault, before Hans Christian Andersen, there was Giambattista Basile, a seventeenth-century poet from Naples, Italy, whom the Grimms credit with recording the first national collection of fairy tales. The Tale of Tales opens with Princess Zoza, unable to laugh no matter how funny the joke. Her father, the king, attempts to make her smile; instead he leaves her cursed, whereupon the prince she is destined to marry is snatched up by another woman. To expose this impostor and win back her rightful husband, Zoza contrives a storytelling extravaganza: fifty fairy tales to be told by ten sharp-tongued women (including Zoza in disguise) over five days.

Funny and scary, romantic and gruesome—and featuring a childless queen who devours the heart of a sea monster cooked by a virgin, then gives birth the very next day; a lecherous king aroused by the singing of a woman, whom he courts unaware of her physical grotesqueness; and a king who raises a flea to monstrous size on his own blood, sparking a contest in which an ogre vies with men for the hand of the king’s daughter—The Tale of Tales is a fairy-tale treasure that prefigures Game of Thrones and other touchstones of worldwide fantasy literature.

I am especially amused by the tasteful Penguin Classics cover with that little "Soon to be a Major Motion Picture" sticker. There are times when marketing machines entertain me so much! I appreciate the synergy and cross-pollination of the larger media machine, too, that Hollywood dominates. It frustrates me no end, but it has merits for reaching a very large audience.

So I am thrilled that a book that is over 400 years old and important to our fairy tale history is getting perhaps the biggest marketing push of its life all thanks to a film. Gypsy Thornton has shared several articles about the upcoming film at her Once Upon a Blog, so I haven't really addressed the movie yet. See her posts to date:

Breaking News: "The Tale of Tales" In Production (That's Right - We're About to Get Basile's Tales On Film. In English!)

What To Expect From Matteo Garrone’s "Tale of Tales" by "The Thinker's Garden" Custodian (& Film Update via FTNH)

"The Tale Of Tales" Gets A Trailer!

International Trailer for "Tale Of Tales" Released (Embedded video NSFW)

New "Tale of Tales" Trailers, Posters, Descriptions & TONS of Stills!

I am curious but I have to admit as much as I am willing to read the book--because I have!--I am squeamish at what the movie may offer. I'd rather not see some of the things I read in living color. Once we have that NSFW label, I'm very cautious. And Basile isn't as squeam-inducing as Straparola. Perhaps Hollywood or HBO should attack Straparola next.

Anyway, the final cause for my amusement is also a warning. If you already own this book:

Giambattista Basile's The Tale of Tales, or Entertainment for Little Ones (Series in Fairy-Tale Studies)--which I do--you do not need the new book. According to the available descriptions and such, they are the same book. The first was published over 8 years ago and was a book I was very thrilled about when it was released. (Still am. I had been wanting a modern translation for years! Thanks, Nancy Canepa!) The edition is oversized and has fine quality paper. It is very much academic in nature. Yes, it is still in print and it is more expensive than the upcoming book release, but it is the same book. You don't have to wait.

And if you want the loosely translated, less inflammatory version--some stories removed in other words--you can always visit Il Pentamerone by Giambattista Basile on SurLaLune, too.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Bargain Ebook: Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer for $2.99

Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer (her daughter) is bargain priced at $2.99 for ebook format. The book is usually in the $9.99 range. It is also the companion book to their other book that plays with fairy tale tropes, Between the Lines, which has been on sale previously but is currently $9.99.

Off the Page has higher review ratings than the previous book. I haven't read either book yet--but now both are in my library. I do like the cover for this one. I would have snatched this one off the shelf when I was a teen reader and probably not put it down until I was finished reading it.

Book description:

From #1 New York Times bestselling authors Jodi Picoult and her daughter and coauthor, Samantha van Leer, comes OFF THE PAGE, a tender and appealing romantic YA novel filled with humor, adventure, and just a little bit of magic.

Meet Oliver, a prince literally taken from the pages of a fairy tale and transported into the real world. Meet Delilah, the girl who wished Oliver into being. It’s a miracle that seems perfect at first. Sure, Oliver doesn’t know that you shouldn’t try to open your locker with a dagger or that there’s no such thing as “the ruler” of the local mall. But he also looks at Delilah as if she’s the only girl in the world—the only girl in any world—and Delilah can’t help feeling that being with him is a dream come to life.

But not every story can have a happy ending. Because the book wants Oliver back. And it will turn both worlds upside down to get him.

Oliver and Delilah will have to decide what—and who—they’re willing to risk for love and what it really means for a fairy tale to come true.

Full of humor and witty commentary about life, OFF THE PAGE is a stand-alone novel as well as the companion to the authors’ #1 bestseller Between the Lines. Fans of Sarah Dessen and Meg Cabot are sure to appreciate this novel about love, romance, and happily-ever-afters.

“Off the Page is just so sweet and magical. In high school, I would have given ANYTHING to crawl inside one of my favorite books to escape the real world. I wish!”—SARAH DESSEN, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Saint Anything

Fairy Tale Highlights of the American Folklore Society's 2015 Annual Meeting

The American Folklore Society's Annual Meeting is coming soon and the deadline to register at a discounted rate is August 31st. The Society's 2015 annual meeting will be held October 14-17, 2015 at the Westin in Long Beach, California.

I've pulled the fairy tale related papers from the most recent program. There is always plenty to hear and see at the meeting--and WONDERFUL people to meet--but highlighting fairy tale discussions is SurLaLune's purpose. I won't be attending this year since I have another commitment that is entirely worthwhile, but I still wish I could be in two places at once!

Legends, Fairy Tales, and the Supernatural, Part I

Merrill Kaplan (The Ohio State University), chair
8:00 a.m. Andrew Peck (University of Wisconsin, Madison), At the Modems of Madness:
Slender Man Ostension and the Digital Age
8:30 a.m. Elizabeth Tucker (Binghamton University), "There's an App for That": Legend
Tripping with Smartphones
9:00 a.m. Claudia M. Schwabe (Utah State University), Doppelgangers, Automatons, and
Golems: Demonic Creatures in German Fairy Tales and Modern American Media
9:30 a.m. Merrill Kaplan (The Ohio State University), discussant

Legends, Fairy Tales, and the Supernatural, Part II

Merrill Kaplan (The Ohio State University), chair
10:15 a.m. K. Brandon Barker (Indiana University), I Hate the Bell Witch: Mirror-Summoning
Rituals and the Science of Visual Perception
10:45 a.m. Emily Burke (Indiana University), The Academic and Popular Discourse of Fairy
Changelings and Autism
11:15 a.m. Ray Cashman (Indiana University), Witchcraft and Anxiety on the Irish Border
11:45 a.m. Merrill Kaplan (The Ohio State University), discussant

Storytelling and Folktales

Lisa Gilman (University of Oregon), chair
10:15 a.m. Lowell Andrew Brower (Harvard University), “It Happened, but May It Never
Happen Again”: The Politics and Poetics of Storytelling in Post-Genocide Rwanda
10:45 a.m. Ann Schmiesing (University of Colorado, Boulder), Fairy-Tale Homiletics: Fairy
Tales as Illustrations in Contemporary Sermons
11:15 a.m. Anton David Banchy (independent), A Gendered Look at “Mulan”
11:45 a.m. Lisa Gilman (University of Oregon), Is Oral Tradition Alive and Well?
Contemporary Legends and Social Issues in Northern Malawi

Women in Folklore and Literature, Part I: International Perspectives

Sponsored by the Folklore and Literature Section and the Women's Section
See also 05-06
Jill Terry Rudy (Brigham Young University), chair
8:00 a.m. Theresa A. Vaughan (University of Central Oklahoma), Teaching the (Absent)
Woman: Advice for the Medieval Housewife in Le Ménagier de Paris
8:30 a.m. Veronica Muskheli (University of Washington, Seattle), Brides and Bridles:
Female Batyr and Her Horse in Central Asian Wonder Tales
9:00 a.m. Danielle M. Roemer (Northern Kentucky University), Rosario Ferré's "Sleeping
Beauty”: Rebellion and Confinement
9:30 a.m. Mayako Murai (Kanagawa University, Japan), Tales of Transformation,
Transformation of Tales: Hiromi Kawakami's Tread on a Snake

“Ain't No California”: Travelers as Tricksters

Sabra Webber (The Ohio State University), chair
8:00 a.m. Nancy Dinan (Texas Tech University), “Now Comes a Fairy Tale”: Heinrich
Schliemann Goes to Ithaca
8:30 a.m. Marisa G. Wieneke (The Ohio State University), “Where He Goes, Many Will
Follow”: The LA Trickster and His Taco Trucks
9:00 a.m. Yeliz Cavus (The Ohio State University), “Long Ways, Long Lies”: Evliya Celebi as
Traveler and Trickster
9:30 a.m. Sabra J. Webber (The Ohio State University), “A Mean and Malignant Witch”:
Captain Burton's Tricky World

A Year in Fairy-Tale History: Motley Encounters with Textual "Sociability”
Centennial D

Christine A. Jones (University of Utah), chair
10:15 a.m. Jennifer Schacker (University of Guelph), 1804: Recasting Cinderella, from Stage
to Page
10:45 a.m. Molly Clark Hillard (Seattle University), 1842: “The Fairy Tales of Science/And the
Long Result of Time”
11:15 a.m. Christine A. Jones (University of Utah), 1901: Perrault's Seductive (and ShortLived)
Fin de Siècle
11:45 a.m. Nancy Canepa (Dartmouth College), 1956: Italo Calvino's Fiabe Italiane and a
National Folklore

Disney (En)Counters: Fairy-Tale Films in France, PRC, and Italy
Centennial D

Cristina Bacchilega (niversity of Hawai‘i-Mānoa), chair
2:00 p.m. Anne E. Duggan (Wayne State University), Engagé Animation: The Films of Paul
Grimault and Jean-François Laguionie
2:30 p.m. Jing Li (Gettysburg College), Telling Her Story as a Woman: The China-Made Hua
Mulan (2009)
3:00 p.m. Cristina Bacchilega (University of Hawai‘i- Mānoa), Nationalism, Migration, and
Parenthood: Italian Pinocchio Films As Critical Encounters with Disney
3:30 p.m. Kimberly J. Lau (University of California, Santa Cruz), discussant

Destabilizing Fairyland: Fairy Tales and Folklore in 19th- and Early 20th-Century
British Literature

Sara B. Cleto (The Ohio State University), chair
8:00 a.m. Brittany B. Warman (The Ohio State University), Reimagining "Rumpelstiltskin":
Fairy Tale, Gothic, and Queer Possibilities in George Eliot's Silas Marner
8:30 a.m. Sara B. Cleto (The Ohio State University), Lamps and Levity: the Dis/abled,
Embodied Experience in George MacDonald's Fairy Tales
9:00 a.m. Jason M. Harris (Texas A&M University), "They Were No Longer the Fields We
Know": The Disconcerting Dimensions of Fairyland
9:30 a.m. Jennifer Schacker (University of Guelph), discussant

Fairy-Tale Webs of Intermedial Encounters and Enactments
Centennial C

Claudia Schwabe (Utah State University), chair
10:25 a.m. John Laudun (University of Louisiana), What Scientists Think about When They
Think about Folk Narrative
10:35 a.m. Timothy R. Tangherlini (University of California, Los Angeles), Rotten Poisonous
Apples: Explorations of Audience Response to Films Based on Fairy Tales
10:45 a.m. Rebecca B. Hay (Brigham Young University), Into the Woods, Out a New
Character: Live-Action Woods as Catalyst
10:55 a.m. Jarom McDonald (Brigham Young University), Modeling Intermediality: Using
Computational Network Analysis to Explore Fairy Tales on Television
11:05 a.m. Bethany Hanks (Utah State University), Fairy Tales over the Telephone
11:15 a.m. Jill Terry Rudy (Brigham Young University), Back with the Baba Yaga:
Intermedial Webs of Ambiguity and Growth

Close Encounters and the Circulation of Folk Narrative

Kimberly J. Lau (University of California, Santa Cruz), chair
2:00 p.m. Kimberly J. Lau (University of California, Santa Cruz), Specters of the Marvelous:
Race and the Fairy Tale
2:30 p.m. Ulrich Marzolph (Enzyklopädie des Märchens), Hanna's Contribution to Galland's
Nights: Reconsidering the Narrative Art of the Subaltern
3:00 p.m. JoAnn Conrad (California State University, East Bay), Chance Encounters:
Meetings with Extraordinary Women
3:30 p.m. Margaret Mills (The Ohio State University, emerita), Patience Stone: Afghan
Folktale and Proverb to War Novel and Film

That Fairy-Tale Life

Molly Clark Hillard (Seattle University), chair
2:00 p.m. Savannah Blitch (Arizona State University), Between Earth and Sky:
Transcendence and Symbolic Encounters of Reality and the Fairy Tale in Pan's
2:30 p.m. Jose Nayar Rivera (City University of New York), “Little Red Riding Hood” and the
Problem of Attribution
3:00 p.m. Mary Sellers (Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg), Fifty Shades of Folklore:
An Analysis of E. L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey
3:30 p.m. Martha Rachel Gholson (Missouri State University) and Chris-Anne Stumpf
(Douglas College), It’s Not the Blood You Take, but the Ideas You Give:
Rereading Bella

Monday, August 17, 2015

New to DVD: After The Ball, a Fashion Industry Cinderella Story

After The Ball will be released to DVD next week in the US. It stars Portia Doubleday, Marc-Andre Grondin, Chris Noth, Lauren Holly, and Carlo Rota in a fashion industry inspired Cinderella story.

I saw the DVD listed online and thought, "Oh, I missed learning about a Hallmark Channel fairy tale movie!" But I was wrong. This was actually a theatrical release. However, some of the reviews say it is on par with a Hallmark Channel movie, so my instincts were right. Other reviewers enjoyed it for exactly what it is, so if you are an unapologetic Hallmark Channel film watcher--like some members of my family--this is for you.

Has anyone seen this one? It had virtually no publicity in my world this past year although IMDB lists its official US theatrical release as April 24, 2015.

Movie description:

Kates dream is to design for couturier houses. Although she is a bright new talent, Kate can not get a job. No one trusts the daughter of Lee Kassell, a retail guru who markets clothes inspired by the very designers Kate wants to work for. Who wants a spy among the sequins and stilettos?

Reluctantly, Kate joins the family business where she must navigate around her duplicitous stepmother and two wicked stepsisters. With the help of a prince of a guy in the shoe department, her godmothers vintage clothes, and a shocking switch of identities, can Kate expose the evil trio and save her fathers company?

And here's a trailer: