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Feminist Fairy Tales

( 3 )


Prominent feminist author Barbara Walker has revamped, retold, and infused with life some of your favorite classic fairy tales. No longer are women submissive, helpless creatures in need of redemption through the princely male! Instead they are vibrantly alive, strong women who take fate into their own hands.

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Feminist Fairy Tales

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Prominent feminist author Barbara Walker has revamped, retold, and infused with life some of your favorite classic fairy tales. No longer are women submissive, helpless creatures in need of redemption through the princely male! Instead they are vibrantly alive, strong women who take fate into their own hands.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Walker has applied her considerable scholarship to re-spin classic fairy tales, reinterpret folklore staples and write a few original stories of her own in a manner that reflects a serious-and sometimes funny-feminist mind. Wordplay groaners characters named Barbidol, Devi Jones, Lowkey and contemporary mores, terms and conveniences in ancient settings running water, a silicon-based race, true-crime stories, private schools may amuse some. But the strength of the work lies in rich, lyrical straight pieces like ``The Descent of Shaloma,'' ``The Oracle'' and ``The White God.'' In perfect read-aloud cadence, the stories elevate women to the heroic roles: Gorga, who umasks the dragon; Ugly, who lives narcissism-free with the Beast; Jill, who descends the beanroot into the earth; Ala Dean, who asks the lamp not for riches but for peace and equality; White Riding Hood, who feeds the hunter to the wolves. Walker introduces each of the 28 stories with a brief commentary on its origins and meaning-from Gtterdmmerung to Jung. Her feminism is couched in complexities that make this a book to build a seminar around. Illustrated by Laurie Harden. Jan.
Library Journal
Walker, author of numerous feminist works, offers here a collection of 28 fairy tales in which women are the adventurous protagonists, confronting the whims and frailties of humanity and of the supernatural. Most of the tales are retellings of well-known classic fairy tales from a feminist perspective, reflected in titles such as "Gorga and the Dragon," "Ugly and the Beast," "Cinder-Helle," and "The Empress's New Clothes," while others are based on Greek myths or are Walker's own tales. Walker's rendition of the classic works maintain their style, language, and tone while integrating feminist themes, a balance she also achieves with her own tales, though "Barbidol," which plays on the contemporary cultural messages of the Barbie, Ken, and GI Joe dolls, seems out of place. The black-and-white drawings accompanying each tale are in keeping with the traditional style and feminist focus. This is an entertaining and thought-provoking collection for women's and literary studies.-Jeris Cassel, Rutgers Univ. Libs., New Brunswick, N.J.
School Library Journal
YATraditional fairy tales describe the princess or heroine as beautiful, obedient, generous, and kind; of all these, beauty is the most prized attribute. Walker's women are gutsy, resourceful, realistic, and firmly in tune with nature; their beauty comes from within. In "Ugly and the Beast" one of the turnabout stories, Ugly is loved by her family and by the Beast for her sweetness; her far-from-perfect looks are irrelevant. "Princess Questa" confronts her fears of making changes, and, with growing confidence, takes control of her life. Environmental messages are woven into such stories as "White Riding Hood" and "The White God." Antiviolence themes appear in "Barbidol"; in "Snow Night," the good stepmother effectively thwarts the attempted rape and murder of her stepdaughter. The excellent explanations that precede each story provide scholarly references to Babylonian, Sumerian, Biblical, Greek, Roman, Celtic, and German myths and creation stories. The author's writing style is witty, whimsical, creative, clever, mostly smooth, and only occasionally heavy-handed in message. Her 28 stories belong in all YA collections. The book can be used for booktalking and as a source for creative writing or short-story assignments. It is not, however, for those who believe in the very traditional views of women. These fairy tales are tools for empowerment.Judy Sokoll, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062513205
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/28/1996
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 435,771
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara G. Walker, author of The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects, and many other books, is a member of the Morris Museum Mineralogical Society and the Trailside Mineral Club of the New Jersey Earth Science Association.

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Table of Contents

The She-Wolf 1
Princess Questa 7
Snow Night 19
Gorga and the Dragon 27
The Frog Princess 35
Ugly and the Beast 47
Thomas Rhymer 55
Jill and the Beanroot 63
Barbidol 71
Sir Vivor and the Holy Cauldron 79
Ala Dean and the Wonderful Lamp 91
The Descent of Shaloma 101
The Weaver 111
The Sea Witch 121
Prince Gimme and the Fairy of the Forest 129
The Oracle 141
Lily and Rose 149
The Gargoyle 157
Little White Riding Hood 165
How the Sexes Were Separated 171
The Littlest Mermaid 177
Cinder-Helle 189
How Winter Came to the World 197
The Empress's New Clothes 209
The Three Little Pinks 217
Fairy Gold 225
How the Gods Met Their End 233
The White God 239
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2011

    Love it!

    I love this book a lot. This book reminds women to rely on themselves
    to solve their problems, not anyone else.
    I wish Barbara Walker would write more stories like this,
    and write fairy tales for little girls to read alongside
    the traditional fairy tales so they will learn that they
    don't need a "knight in shining armor" to rescue them.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2001

    Perfect for the feminine hero lover

    Great Stories about great mythical heroes. Thoughtfully re-written and beautifully illistrated. An excellent read for anyone. Especially women. Pick it up I promice you will enjoy it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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