Margaret Atwood's Fairy-Tale Sexual Politics

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $22.55
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 9%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $22.55   
  • New (4) from $26.38   
  • Used (3) from $22.55   


Intriguing investigation of fairy-tale images in Atwood's haunting fiction, poetry, and artwork

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This critical study illustrates how Canadian author Atwood's work incorporates the use of fairy tales, especially those of Grimm and Andersen, to depict themes of sexual politics. Wilson English, Univ. of Northern Colorado offers a careful analysis of Atwood's fiction and poetry in relation to specific tales, e.g., The Edible Wom an to ``The Robber Bridegroom,'' The Handmaid's Tale to ``Little Red-Cap,'' and Cat's Eye to ``Rapunzel'' and ``Snow Queen.'' Fairy tales have been perceived by feminists as perpetuating negative female role models; however, Wilson illustrates Atwood's reworking of the traditional message to achieve a transformation that empowers women. Of additional interest are examples of Atwood's artwork, published here for the first time. This book adds a new dimension to critical studies of Atwood and to the appreciation of fairy tales. Recommended for women's studies and children's literature collections in academic libraries-- Mary Ellen Beck, Troy P.L., N.Y.
An analysis of fairy-tale patterns offering insight into feminist author Atwood's fiction and poetry. Atwood's own artwork is published for the first time in book form. Wilson uses the many black and white drawings plus 21 color plates to illustrate how images from fairy tales and popular literature reveal archetypes in Atwood's writing. By combining Atwood's art and literature, Wilson shows that fairy-tale motifs liberate rather than limit gender roles. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604738612
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 1/1/1994
  • Pages: 466
  • Sales rank: 1,057,834
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon Rose Wilson is professor of English and women's studies at the University of Northern Colorado.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

"Like Atwood's poetry and fiction, her watercolors and drawings present recurrent, archetypal images of power politics, in which women and men may not only oppose but also represent aspects of one another, playing roles evoking Gothic stories, myths, Biblical narratives, television, comic books, and nursery rhymes as well as fairy tales. Images of eating and food, prevalent in fairy tales and folklore, and even of edible and cooked or baked art also recur in both Atwood's literary and visual art..."

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 Intertextual Contexts and Purposes: Fairy Tales and the Medusa Artist 3
2 Sexual Politics in Atwood's Visual Art: "Fitcher's Bird" and the Triple Goddess 35
3 Cannibalism and Metamorphosis in The Edible Woman: "The Robber Bridegroom" 82
4 Decapitation, Cannibalism, and Rebirth in Surfacing: "The Juniper Tree" and French-Canadian Tales 97
5 Dancing for Others in Lady Oracle: The Triple Goddess and "The Red Shoes" 120
6 Frozen Touch in You Are Happy: The Rapunzel Syndrome and "The Girl Without Hands" 136
7 Regrowing Touch in Life Before Man: "The Girl Without Hands" and The Wizard of Oz 165
8 The Artist's Marriage to Death in Bodily Harm: "The Robber Bridegroom" and "The Girl Without Hands" 198
9 Bluebeard's Forbidden Room in Interlunar and "Bluebeard's Egg": "Fitcher's Bird," "The White Snake," and Other Tales 229
10 Off the Path to Grandma's House in The Handmaid's Tale: "Little Red Cap" 271
11 Cat's Eye Vision: "Rapunzel" and "The Snow Queen" 295
Appendix: Tale Types and Motifs 315
Notes 347
Works Cited 390
Index 411
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2006


    If you are interested at all in Margaret Atwood, this is a great companion to her work. For a piece of critical work, it is extremely interesting and highly engaging. I've cited it in at least three separate papers. I am an avid Atwood reader and found this book to have interesting and cohesive interpretations of her work. Enjoy!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)