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Paperback Mirror, Mirror on the Wall : Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales Book

ISBN: 0385486812

ISBN13: 9780385486811

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall : Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

New edition (revised and expanded) available 8/13/02. Fairy tales are one of the most enduring forms of literature, their plots retold and characters reimagined for centuries. In this elegant and thought-provoking collection of original essays, Kate Bernheimer brings together twenty-eight leading women writers to discuss how these stories helped shape their imaginations, their craft, and our culture. In poetic narratives, personal histories, and penetrating...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Facts and Fables

This collection of essays explores the very foundations of fantasy/mythical literature and the primal symbolism/archetypes that stem not only from our subconscious but also our childhood experiences involving fairy tales. Bringing fresh perspectives on tales from all around the world, these essays written by contemporary female authors are fascinating and illuminating. To me, it is a must have for every woman's library or for the book shelf of anyone whose ever loved fantasy literature.

wonderful and smart reading

This anthology really has wonderfully written essays on fairy tales and their influence on literature today. A must read for those interested in the subject.

Important Contribution to Folklore Field

This collection of essays should have received a lot more attention as an important contribution to the folklore field when it was first published. I don't understand why it was not reviewed more broadly. Bernheimer's book should be of interest to anyone who reads or studies fairy tales -- and who doesn't?

Provocative and often surprising

This collection was a splendid idea on the part of editor Kate Bernheimer. It's fascinating to see how many superb contemporary female writers (I dislike the term "woman writer"--have you ever heard of a "man writer"?) have been inspired or influenced by specific fairy tales, often in astonishing ways. Each writer was asked to respond to a question about how she herself responded to one or more fairy tales. The results range from fictional revisions of famous tales to meditations, confessions, or brief and very interesting scholarly essays. Bernheimer asked the right women, too: Margaret Atwood, Fay Weldon, Joyce Carol Oates, some young writers just starting out, and some surprises. I borrowed this book from the library and then realized that I had to buy my own copy!

Thought-provoking and fun.

Some short, some long, these essays are everything from quick and wandering dialogues to beautifully crafted essays. They're not necessarily *about* anything in particular. The only thing they have in common is that the authors, many of whom will be known to you, use a fairy tale as a sounding board for their miscellaneous ideas... on girlhood, feminism, and storytelling. They are of wide variety (some are less ambitious than others), all engaging. The only downside is that it's a quick read -- more like reading magazine articles than an absorbing non-fiction book.
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