Friday, April 8, 2011

Everyday Magic

Kate Bernheimer and Lydia Millet came to Harold Washington Library to talk about fairy tales (part of One Book, One Chicago and the Chicago Humanities Festival), a subject I'm interested in because my YA novel is a modern-day fairy tale. Ms. Bernheimer noted that some of the prominent writers whom she approached to contribute to her volume of fairy tales turned her down because they didn't want to be associated with writing a fairy tale. Apparently, they are not taken seriously enough, or they are just stories for children... derivative works that are unoriginal. Thankfully, though, there is a fairy tale revival happening. Fairy tales are returning to their darker roots. Perhaps it's because we've all grown up with Disney versions of fairy tales, she noted, and artists are now responding to them with resistance. I related to this point; in my writing, I veered in the opposite direction of the princess being made complete or saved only with the intervention of a prince. Ms Bernheimer read "A Cageling Tale" from Horse, Flower, Bird and Ms Millet read her story "Snow White, Rose Red" from My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, two stories exemplifying how fairy tales are more than child's play.

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