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My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate…

My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales (2010)

by Kate Bernheimer (Editor)

Other authors: Kim Addonizio (Contributor), Chris Adrian (Contributor), Rabih Alameddine (Contributor), Naoko Awa (Contributor), Aimee Bender (Contributor)38 more, Kate Berhneimer (Introduction), Kate Bernheimer (Contributor), Francesca Lia Block (Contributor), Karen Brennan (Contributor), Kevin Brockmeier (Contributor), Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum (Contributor), Lucy Corin (Contributor), Michael Cunningham (Contributor), Kathryn Davis (Contributor), Rikki Ducornet (Contributor), Brian Evenson (Contributor), Karen Joy Fowler (Contributor), Neil Gaiman (Contributor), Lily Hoang (Contributor), Hiromi Ito (Contributor), Shelley Jackson (Contributor), Ilya Kaminsky (Contributor), Jonathon Keats (Contributor), Neil LaBute (Contributor), Kelly Link (Contributor), Gregory Maguire (Foreword), Sabrina Orah Mark (Contributor), Michael Martone (Contributor), Joyelle McSweeney (Contributor), Michael Mejia (Contributor), Lydia Millet (Contributor), Alissa Nutting (Contributor), Joyce Carol Oates (Contributor), Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (Contributor), Francine Prose (Contributor), Stacey Richter (Contributor), Marjorie Sandor (Contributor), Timothy Schaffert (Contributor), Jim Shepard (Contributor), John Updike (Contributor), Katherine Vaz (Contributor), Kellie Wells (Contributor), Joy Williams (Contributor)

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
I love fairy tales, and with names like Neil Gaiman and Gregory Maguire in the mix, I thought I couldn't go wrong.

And that was partially true. About a third of the stories in this collection have just that air of mystery and enchantment, that certain kind of dream logic that holds in fairy tales. "The Catskin" in particular stands out as a story that embodies the nature of the fairy tale, embracing both its whimsy and its darker side.

Another third were more fairy-tale-inspired. They were modern literary fiction with a fairy tale character or character dynamic at the core. These are the sorts of stories that are often accused of "having no plot." That's a charge from which I usually defend literary fiction, but I feel less inclined to do so here. The story shape of fairy tales is just so important to me--although that's what a fairy tale means to me, not necessarily to everyone.

And then there were the rest, perhaps less than a third. (You can adjust the fractions above to compensate.) These stories felt very experimental in nature. Maybe they were par for the course for these writers, none of whom I knew, but they felt absurdly pretentious in the context of this collection. It was almost as if they felt they needed to compensate for a childish theme by furnishing a more adult story.

This is a collection to which I will return for my favorites, but I will not be reading it from start to finish again. ( )
  shabacus | Feb 20, 2015 |
Like the bedtime stories of childhood, these new fairy tales transform the reader's world into something a little like allegory and a little like a fun house mirror. These tales are moths: owned by the dark realms of imagination even as they yearn for the pyrogenic light of reality. They flutter in the shadows where the conscious mind cannot see clearly.

( )
  IsotropicJoseph | Apr 28, 2014 |
Had to return it.
  Chrisbookarama | Sep 23, 2013 |
Sarah Montambo and Marie saw me looking longingly at this morbid book, picking it up to read the back and putting it down several times, and since they're both generous, attentive, kind, and LOADED$$$...j/k on that last one, but the rest of it is true and they got me this book! Present!!

It looks much cooler than it's turning out to be, for my uncultured and poorly educated taste. But I love it for being a gift from friends who noticed and acted. Who has people like that in their lives? Lucky ones. That would include me.

Thank you, Sarah Montambo and Marie! I'm glad to know you both!
  EhEh | Apr 3, 2013 |
Gah, I hate rating anthologies. How are you supposed to do that? Do you just begin at the top and start substracting half a star for every lame story you find? It seems unfair. So I'm giving this 5 stars because I absolutely love the idea and because there were a more than a few stories in it that were great, either in concept or execution.

It was interesting that the ones I liked the most weren't always the ones inspired in tales I already knew (incidentally, how did I not know about Catskin? Its retelling is one of the best stories in the book, if only because it's the one that best brings back that dreamlike, suspended feeling of reading classic fairy tales).

Most of the The Wild Swans spinoffs were awesome, but not all of the Bluebeard references were. And I was only meh about both the Snow Queen and The Little Match Girl references, which sucked, seeing as those are probably my favoritest storiestest ever.

I didn't really care though, because half the fun of reading this book comes from working at reaching those conclusions. Tracing back the stories to their sources, pondering where exactly the twist is, carefully sampling the tone and whining at the result? That's what reading metafiction is all about.

Seriously though, there are far more great stories here than I dared to hope. And it also brought back a few tales I didn't even know I remembered, which was a nice bonus. Great fun. ( )
  beabatllori | Apr 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bernheimer, KateEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Addonizio, KimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adrian, ChrisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alameddine, RabihContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Awa, NaokoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bender, AimeeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berhneimer, KateIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bernheimer, KateContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Block, Francesca LiaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brennan, KarenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brockmeier, KevinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bynum, Sarah Shun-LienContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Corin, LucyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cunningham, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davis, KathrynContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ducornet, RikkiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Evenson, BrianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fowler, Karen JoyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hoang, LilyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ito, HiromiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jackson, ShelleyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kaminsky, IlyaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Keats, JonathonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
LaBute, NeilContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Link, KellyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Maguire, GregoryForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mark, Sabrina OrahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Martone, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McSweeney, JoyelleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mejia, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Millet, LydiaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nutting, AlissaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Oates, Joyce CarolContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Petrushevskaya, LudmillaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Prose, FrancineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Richter, StaceyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sandor, MarjorieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schaffert, TimothyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shepard, JimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Updike, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vaz, KatherineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wells, KellieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, JoyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014311784X, Paperback)

The fairy tale lives again in this book of forty new stories by some of the biggest names in contemporary fiction.

Michael Cunningham, Francine Prose, Aimee Bender, Kelly Link, Jim Shepard, and more than thirty other extraordinary writers celebrate fairy tales in this thrilling new volume. Inspire by everything from Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen" and "The Little Match Girl" to Charles Perrault's "Bluebeard" and "Cinderella" to the Brothers Grimm's "Hansel and Gretel" and "Rumpelstiltskin" to fairy tales by Goethe and Calvino and from China, Japan, Vietnam, Russia, Norway, and Mexico, here are stories that soar into boundless realms, filled with mischief and mystery and magic, and renewed by the lifeblood of invention. Although rooted in hundreds of years of tradition, they chart the imaginative frontiers of the twenty-first century as powerfully as they evoke our earliest encounters with literature.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:20 -0400)

The founder of the literary journal "Fairy Tale Review" collects stories inspired by classic fairy tales and written by such authors as Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike, Francine Prose, Kevin Brockmeier, and Shelley Jackson.

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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