fairy tale retellings

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Thu Mar 18 02:45:07 EST 2004

On Wed, 17 Mar 2004 19:47:41 -0700, Robyn Starkey wrote:

>I know there are a number of people on this list who are aficianados of 
>this genre (sub-genre). I am looking for short story suggestions of good 
>fairy tale retellings. Anyone got anything to suggest?

Robin McKinley's _A Door in the Hedge_ has "The Twelve Dancing Princesses"
and "The Frog Prince."  Both very well done.  Also check the Ellen
Datlow/Terri Windling edited series--I don't have them on hand so I can't
reference specific stories.  Those are:

_Snow White, Blood Red_
_Black Swan, White Raven_
_Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears_
_Black Heart, Ivory Bones_
_Silver Birch, Blood Moon_

That's not the order they were published in, but it doesn't matter and it's
late enough that I don't care to figure it out.

Strong retellings are available in Tanith Lee's _Red as Blood: Tales from
the Sisters Grimmer_ and _The Bloody Chamber_ by Angela Carter.  These range
from the gruesome to the erotic and are definitely the upper range of adult
fairy-tale retellings.

Ellen Datlow has a more recent collection out called _A Wolf at the Door_,
but I haven't read it so can't vouch for quality.  Has some talented authors
represented like Garth Nix, Tanith Lee, and Gregory Maguire.  There's a
second one just out last fall that I hadn't heard of--it's _Swan Sister:
Fairy Tales Retold_.  These both appear to be marketed to a younger

Gail Carson Levine, author of _Ella Enchanted_, did a series of short books
retelling various fairy tales.  I would call them novella-length, but what
do I know?  They're now available in omnibus form as _The Princess Tales_.

Can't think of anything else right now.

Melissa Proffitt

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