Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New Book: Shakespeare's Folktale Sources by Charlotte Artese

Shakespeare's Folktale Sources by Charlotte Artese was released this past summer. While the Shakespeare's folkloric inspirations is not a new concept by any means, but I don't know of another book devoted to the topic, only articles or quick references in other books. So this should be fascinating. It's on my wishlist!

Book description:

Shakespeare’s Folktale Sources argues that seven plays—The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Merchant of Venice, All’s Well that Ends Well, Measure for Measure, and Cymbeline—derive one or more of their plots directly from folktales. In most cases, scholars have accepted one literary version of the folktale as a source. Recognizing that the same story has circulated orally and occurs in other medieval and early modern written versions allows for new readings of the plays. By acknowledging that a play’s source story circulated in multiple forms, we can see how the playwright was engaging his audience on common ground, retelling a story that may have been familiar to many of them, even the illiterate. We can also view the folktale play as a Shakespearean genre, defined by source as the chronicle histories are, that spans and traces the course of Shakespeare’s career. The fact that Shakespeare reworked folktales so frequently also changes the way we see the history of the literary folk- or fairy-tale, which is usually thought to bypass England and move from Italian novella collections to eighteenth-century French salons. Each chapter concludes with a bibliography listing versions of each folktale source as a resource for further research and teaching.

About the Author

Charlotte Artese is associate professor of English at Agnes Scott College. She has published articles on The Faerie Queene and Utopia as well as on Shakespeare’s folktale sources.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

New Book: Fairy-Tale Films Beyond Disney: International Perspectives

Fairy-Tale Films Beyond Disney: International Perspectives by Jack Zipes (Editor), Pauline Greenhill (Editor), Kendra Magnus-Johnston (Editor) was released last week. I haven't seen a copy of yet, so this is just in nature of my usual book announcements.

Book description:

The fairy tale has become one of the dominant cultural forms and genres internationally, thanks in large part to its many manifestations on screen. Yet the history and relevance of the fairy-tale film have largely been neglected. In this follow-up to Jack Zipes’s award-winning book The Enchanted Screen (2011), Fairy-Tale Films Beyond Disney offers the first book-length multinational, multidisciplinary exploration of fairy-tale cinema. Bringing together twenty-three of the world’s top fairy-tale scholars to analyze the enormous scope of these films, Zipes and colleagues Pauline Greenhill and Kendra Magnus-Johnston present perspectives on film from every part of the globe, from Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, to Jan Švankmajer’s Alice, to the transnational adaptations of 1001 Nights and Hans Christian Andersen.

Contributors explore filmic traditions in each area not only from their different cultural backgrounds, but from a range of academic fields, including criminal justice studies, education, film studies, folkloristics, gender studies, and literary studies. Fairy-Tale Films Beyond Disney offers readers an opportunity to explore the intersections, disparities, historical and national contexts of its subject, and to further appreciate what has become an undeniably global phenomenon.

Table of Contents:

Foreword and Acknowledgements Jack Zipes
Preface: Traveling Beyond Disney Kendra Magnus-Johnston, Pauline Greenhill, and Lauren Bosc
1. The Great Cultural Tsunami of Fairy-Tale Films Jack Zipes
2. "My Life as a Fairy Tale": The Fairy Tale Author in Popular Cinema Kendra Magnus-Johnston
3. Spectacle of the Other: Recreating A Thousand and One Nights in Film Sofia Samatar
4. British Animation and the Fairy-Tale Tradition: Housetraining the Id Paul Wells
5. The Fairy-Tale Film in France: Postwar Reimaginings Anne Duggan
6. The Checkered Reception of Fairy-Tale Films in the Germany of the Brothers Grimm Jack Zipes
7. Fairy-Tale Films in Italy Cristina Bacchilega
8. The Fairy-Tale Film in Scandinavia Elisabeth Oxfeldt
9. "To Catch Up and Overtake Disney?" Soviet and Post-Soviet Fairy-Tale Films, Marina Balina and Birgit Beumers
10. The Czech and Slovak Fairy-Tale Film Peter Hames
11. Polish Fairy-Tale Film: 130 Years of Innovation and Counting Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak and Marek Oziewicz
12. Not Always Happily Ever After: Japanese Fairy Tales in Cinema and Animation, Susan Napier
13. The Love Story, Female Images, and Gender Politics: Folktale Films in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Jing Li
14. "It’s all a Fairy Tale": A Folklorist’s Reflection on Storytelling in Popular Hindi Cinema, Sadhana Naithani
15. The Fairy-Tale Film in Korea, Sung-Ae Lee
16. Stick Becoming Crocodile: African Fairy-Tale Film Jessica Tiffin
17. Australian Fairy Tale Films Elizabeth Bullen and Naarah Sawers
18. Fairy-Tale Films in Canada/Canadian Fairy-Tale Films Pauline Greenhill and Steven Kohm
19. The Fairy-Tale Film in Latin America Laura Hubner
20. Beyond Disney in the Twenty-First Century: Changing Aspects of Fairy-Tale Films in the American Film Industry Jack Zipes


"Fairy tales, like the air we breathe, surround us constantly and, usually, transparently in contemporary media cultures. Zipes and his collaborators explore these narratives that we take for granted, exposing the inanity of most Hollywood productions and bringing to light the transgressive, creative cinemas of independent and international filmmakers. We'll never think 'happily ever after' again without a pause to reflect on the implications." ―Donald Crafton, author of Shadow of a Mouse: Performance, Belief, and World-Making in Animation

"Thinking globally and acting locally, Jack Zipes and his collaborators have produced a landmark volume that reveals how fairy-tale enchantments have worked their magic in cinematic productions the world over. The partnership between film and fairy tale, we suddenly discover, is exactly what the dream factory needs to create its coming attractions." ―Maria Tatar, Harvard University, author of The Annotated Brothers Grimm

"This incomparable book of essays projects a panoramic view of fairy-tale films that is only possible when a multidisciplinary team of talented scholars collaborates. With its international scope and expert analyses, Fairy-Tale Films Beyond Disney lifts the curtain on spectacular realms from around the world." ―Donald Haase, Professor of German and Senior Associate Dean at Wayne State University

Monday, September 28, 2015

New Book: Mirrored (Kendra Chronicles) by Alex Flinn

Mirrored (Kendra Chronicles) by Alex Flinn is new this month. Flinn has written several fairy tale retellings now, the most famous being Beastly since it was adapted into a movie. This one is getting high reader reviews. I always like to recommend Flinn for reluctant readers since they tend to be quick reads that satisfy.

Book description:

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Alex Flinn's modern and mysterious retelling of Snow White, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and true love doesn't necessarily mean Prince Charming.

Celine's life is the stuff fairy tales are made of. She's beautiful, talented, and brave. Unfortunately, her tale comes complete with a wicked stepmother! When Violet steps into Celine's life, everything changes and weird things begin to happen to her—bizarre accidents, strange illnesses, and rabid animal attacks. Celine doesn't feel safe anywhere. It's almost as if some hateful witch is out to get her.

And there is. Violet has been waiting all her life to have Celine's father to herself. Getting rid of his gorgeous daughter is child's play for a witch as powerful as she is. Happy-ever-after isn't enough for Violet. She wants to be the fairest of them all, and Celine is in the way . . . but not for long.

Forced to take refuge with her friend Goose and his family, Celine gives up everything she loves and goes deep undercover. But will it be enough to fool Violet, or will Celine's fate be decided by a reflection in a magic mirror? And where do you find Prince Charming in Miami anyway?

Mirrored is a modern retelling of Snow White—told from the points of view of Violet, Celine, and Goose—with all the magic and mystery readers will love.

Friday, September 25, 2015

New Book: Once Upon a Time: Red's Untold Tale by Wendy Toliver

Once Upon a Time: Red's Untold Tale by Wendy Toliver was also released this week. This is a novel inspired by ABC's Once Upon a Time TV series. With season 5 starting this weekend--and can I just say SEASON 5, never saw that coming when this series was announced 6+ years ago--the show is still going strong. This book has a gorgeous cover.

Book description:

Red is 16 and lives with Granny in a cottage in the village, where boarding up the house and hiding during Wolfstime is a means of survival. Red help's Granny with Granny's baked good business, catering as well as door-to-door sales.

Red has a constant internal battle between her wild side and her strict, overprotective upbringing, and the issue of "control" as she discovers she has a hot temper when the "mean girls" push her too far. ("When we learn to control it, we needn't fear it," Rumpelstiltskin says in the series.) She has flashbacks to her 13th year when she received her cloak and the nickname "Red."

Plagued by nightmares she doesn't understand and a temper she can't control, Red struggles to save Granny's troubled business and to nurture her budding romance with Peter, even as the betrayal of her classmates awakens the wolf within.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

New Book: Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas

(US/UK Links)

Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas was released last week. It was released at the same time in the UK, see Ash & Bramble (UK Link).

Book description:

The tale of Cinderella has been retold countless times. But what you know is not the true story. Sarah Prineas’s bold fairy-tale retelling is a dark and captivating world where swords are more fitting than slippers, young shoemakers are just as striking as princes, and a heroine is more than ready to rescue herself before the clock strikes midnight.

Pin has no recollection of who she is or how she got to the Godmother’s fortress. She only knows that she is a Seamstress, working day in and out to make ball gowns fit for fairy tales. But she longs to forsake her backbreaking servitude and dares to escape with the brave young Shoemaker.

Pin isn’t free for long before she’s captured again and forced to live the new life the Godmother chooses for her—a fairy-tale story, complete with a charming prince—instead of finding her own happily ever after.

When the glass slipper just doesn’t fit . . .

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

New US Release: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman (Author) and Chris Riddell (Illustrator)

(US and UK Covers with link)

The time has come! The Sleeper and the Spindle is officially released today in the US. The UK edition, The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman (Author) and Chris Riddell (Illustrator), was released months ago but it's been a longer wait for us in the states.

(US Cover with link)

You can find the text of the story also in Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales without illustrations. But an edition illustrated by Chris Riddell is a treat. I'll show images to tempt and taunt.

Book description from the publisher:

A thrillingly reimagined fairy tale from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell – weaving together a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty with a thread of dark magic, which will hold readers spellbound from start to finish.

On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents.

Lavishly produced, packed with glorious Chris Riddell illustrations enhanced with metallic ink, this is a spectacular and magical gift.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Today Only Bargain Ebook: Letters to Zell by Camille Griep for $1.99

Letters to Zell by Camille Griep is on sale TODAY ONLY for $1.99 in ebook format. This is the first time it has been on sale at this low price.

Book description:

Everything is going according to story for CeCi (Cinderella), Bianca (Snow White), and Rory (Sleeping Beauty)—until the day that Zell (Rapunzel) decides to leave Grimmland and pursue her life. Now, Zell’s best friends are left to wonder whether their own passions are worth risking their predetermined “happily ever afters,” regardless of the consequences. CeCi wonders whether she should become a professional chef, sharp-tongued and quick-witted Bianca wants to escape an engagement to her platonic friend, and Rory will do anything to make her boorish husband love her. But as Bianca’s wedding approaches, can they escape their fates—and is there enough wine in all of the Realm to help them?

In this hilarious modern interpretation of the fairy-tale stories we all know and love, Letters to Zell explores what happens when women abandon the stories they didn’t write for themselves and go completely off script to follow their dreams.

Grimm Agency Series by J. C. Nelson

It only took me three books and novella to discover this Grimm Agency series by J. C. Nelson. The most recent book was released in late August, so I am not very late on that one. But to catch you up on this series that uses fairy tale tropes and draws from the Grimms for inspiration. (Sorta reminds me of a certain TV series, but that doesn't stop me from being interested.) Has anyone read any of these?

Free Agent (A Grimm Agency Novel) by J. C. Nelson

Book description:

When it comes to crafting happily-ever-afters, the Agency is the best in the land of Kingdom. The Fairy Godfather Grimm can solve any problem—from eliminating imps to finding prince charming—as long as you can pay the price…

Working for Grimm isn’t Marissa Locks’s dream job. But when your parents trade you to a Fairy Godfather for a miracle, you don’t have many career options. To pay off her parents’ debt and earn her freedom, Marissa must do whatever Grimm asks, no matter what fairy-tale fiasco she’s called on to deal with.

Setting up a second-rate princess with a first-class prince is just another day at the office. But when the matchmaking goes wrong, Marissa and Grimm find themselves in a bigger magical muddle than ever before. Not only has the prince gone missing, but the Fae are gearing up to attack Kingdom, and a new Fairy Godmother is sniffing around Grimm’s turf, threatening Marissa with the one thing she can’t resist: her heart’s wishes.

Now Marissa will have to take on Fairies, Fae, dragons, and princesses to save the realm—or give up any hope of ever getting her happy ending…

Soul Ink by J. C. Nelson

Book description:

As the right hand woman at the Fairy Godfather’s Grimm Agency, Marissa Locks has a grip on all things magical. If only she could get control of her own not-so-charmed life…

For most people, waking up after a night of partying next to a dragon, sporting a tattoo with a mind of its own, would be a new low. For Marissa, only the tattoo is new—and, unfortunately, it’s not the weirdest part of her day. The Agency has been called in to stop a string of messy murders, a problem that’s turning into a disaster of biblical proportions, and Marissa’s been assigned to the case.

One of the archangels from Paradisia is attempting to switch teams, and he’s willing to use as many souls as it takes to pay his way. With Grimm contractually bound to clean up the chaos, Marissa must find a way to keep the former cherub from completing his rampage. But between fighting an angel gone bad and battling the magical compulsions of her new Fae tattoo, Marissa’s definitely facing the worst hangover in history…

Armageddon Rules (A Grimm Agency Novel) by J. C. Nelson

Book description:

Marissa Locks, newly appointed partner of the Grimm Agency, has a reputation for making a mess of magical matters—although causing Armageddon is a new low, even for her…

Marissa is due for a little happily ever after. After all, she did kill the evil Fairy Godmother, end a war, and snag a sweet promotion within the Fairy Godfather's magical-problem-solving Agency. But between maintaining a relationship with someone whose amorous advances can cause third-degree burns, dealing with a killer-poodle infestation, and helping her best friend, Princess Ari, learn to wield spells more powerful than curing a hangover, she’s not getting as much peace and quiet as she hoped.

When an enemy from her past appears to exact a terrible revenge, Marissa’s life goes from hectic to hell on earth. With Grimm inexplicably gone and Ari trapped by a sleeping spell, Marissa decides to fight fire with hellfire—and accidentally begins a countdown to the apocalypse.

With the end of days extremely nigh, Marissa will have to master royal politics, demonic law, and biblical plagues in a hurry—because even the end of the world can’t keep the Agency from opening for business…

Wish Bound (A Grimm Agency Novel) by J. C. Nelson

Book description:

From the author of Armageddon Rules, the fanciful and fun continuation of the Grimm Agency novels...

As a partner at Grimm’s magical Agency, Marissa Locks is used to working odd jobs. But when an evil queen reappears in Kingdom, life becomes too strange to handle…

Even when she’s not starting it, trouble follows Marissa everywhere. First there was the incident with the homicidal Fairy Godmother. Then there was the time she accidentally started Armageddon. But the problems that always seem to arise on Marissa’s birthday take the cake.

This year, her annual bad-luck presents include an army of invading goblins, the resurrection of two vengeful enemies from hell, and the return of the Black Queen, the evil sorceress whose reign of terror still haunts Kingdom and who happens to have claimed Marissa as her servant.

As Marissa’s friends try to save her from the Black Queen’s clutches, Marissa fights to end a bitter war that started before her birth. But her quest for peace is about to bring up some inconvenient truths about her own past—ones that might cost her the happily ever after she’s always dreamed of…

Friday, September 18, 2015

Bargain Ebook: Briar Queen (Night and Nothing Novels) by Katherine Harbour

Briar Queen (Night and Nothing Novels) by Katherine Harbour is on sale in ebook format for $1.99. This is a sequel to Thorn Jack, a Tam Lin retelling. Both books are usually $9.99. Thorn Jack has been on sale previously so if you regularly visit here you may already own it.

Book description:

The dark, moody, and mystical fantasy begun in Thorn Jack: A Night and Nothing Novel (Night and Nothing Novels Book 1), the first novel in the Night and Nothing series, continues in this bewitching follow up—an intriguing blend of Twilight, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alice in Wonderland, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream—in which Finn Sullivan discovers that her town, Fair Hollow, borders a dangerous otherworld . . .

Serafina Sullivan and her father left San Francisco to escape the painful memory of her older sister Lily Rose’s suicide. But soon after she arrived in bohemian Fair Hollow, New York, Finn discovered a terrifying secret connected to Lily Rose. The placid surface of this picture-perfect town concealed an eerie supernatural world—and at its center, the wealthy, beautiful, and terrifying Fata family.

Though the striking and mysterious Jack Fata tried to push Finn away to protect her, their attraction was too powerful to resist. To save him, Finn—a girl named for the angels and a brave Irish prince—banished a cabal of malevolent enemies to shadows, freeing him from their diabolical grip.

Now, the rhythm of life in Fair Hollow is beginning to feel a little closer to ordinary. But Finn knows better than to be lulled by this comfortable sense of normalcy. It’s just the calm before the storm. For soon, a chance encounter outside the magical Brambleberry Books will lead her down a rabbit hole, into a fairy world of secrets and legacies . . . straight towards the shocking truth about her sister’s death.

Lush and gorgeously written, featuring star-crossed lovers and the collision of the magical and the mundane, Briar Queen will appeal to the fans of Cassandra Clare’s bestselling Mortal Instruments series and Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely.