When I was doing my English degree, one of my tutors didn’t like fantasy. In her opinion, “the supernatural takes over the story”. But isn’t that the whole idea? I wrote a ghost story screenplay. She liked it, but classed it as “family entertainment” (children’s literature was a genre we weren’t meant to write in […]
While reading Sheila Finch’s Myths, Metaphors, and Science Fiction, I ran across a passage that gave me, as a parent, pause: “In later centuries, we seem to have watered down the messages [of fairy tales], especially in the post-Disney world, but the continuing popularity, even into our scientific age, of what might otherwise be considered […]
An interview with British author and folklorist Katherine Langrish.
When we read the classic tales of good versus evil, it is natural to identify with the victor, especially if that character is an underdog. Of course, anybody can do this with any story. The NRA recently released some fairy tale rewrites featuring such groan-worthy updates as a shotgun-wielding grandmother in “Little Red Riding Hood.” Before […]
In the northern hemisphere, many of us are longing for the arrival of spring, and there are no more welcome heralds of spring than birds—the increased movements of those that braved the winter and the return of those that sought warmer lands for a time. Birds are enigmatic. They are wild animals and yet they […]
I’m not sure how to categorise The Gracekeepers (whether novels should be pigeon-holed at all is best left for another time and place) but I will settle for describing it as a grown-up fairy tale. I fell under its spell within the first couple of pages and remained utterly enchanted all the way to the […]
One morning last week I looked out of my bedroom window into the dark, slumbering Mill Hill street to find that Jack Frost and his elfin helpers had been tripping hither and yon during the night, flicking their fairy brushes to paint trees, pavements and car windows with a dainty crystal dusting. That’s enough of […]
Sleep is something we fall into, long for, catch. Sleep steals us away from one place and takes us to the threshold of another. It appears to take us to the brink of death; it also sustains life. Asleep, we are innocent, unchallenging, receptive, renewed. Sleepless, we are restless, angry, aggressive, doomed. “Sleep that knits […]