slightly Ot: fairy tales

Kyla Tornheim kyla at sccs.swarthmore.edu
Mon Sep 29 23:23:17 EDT 2003


On Mon, 29 Sep 2003, Melissa Proffitt wrote:

> Donna Jo Napoli is probably the reigning queen of fairy tale retellings, if
> only in terms of sheer volume.  She writes books ranging from children's
> picture books to young adult fiction.  I've never read her stuff but it's
> supposed to be quite good.  She's done Beauty and the Beast, Jack and the
> Beanstalk, Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel (with a sympathetic
> witch), and the Frog Prince, just for a few.  I don't know how young an
> audience they are for.

I think her Frog Prince retelling is younger (10? 8? I'm bad at telling
intended reading ages); _Zel_ (Rapunzel) is a bit disturbing, if I
remember correctly--not as much as _Deerskin_, certainly, but probably for
older readers. I also read _Spinners_, which I liked, and _The Magic
Circle_, again a bit disturbing but in a good way. I can't, unfortunately,
remember which if any fairy tales they're retelling.

Donna Jo is also a lovely lovely person, funny and enthusiastic and sweet.
Also, she tends to wear little pink socks. She's a splendid professor, and
I had her for two great linguistics classes. The only bits of her Beauty
and the Beast book I've read were early drafts being used as one-sided
paper for some of our hand-outs. :^)

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