Outspoken Princess and the Gentle Knight

Jack Zipes, Author, Stephane Poulin, Illustrator Bantam Books $22.95 (237p) ISBN 978-0-553-09699-6
Zipes (Spells of Enchantment) doesn't satirize fairy tales in the manner of James Garner's bestselling Politically Correct Bedtime Stories. Instead, he has anthologized the works of 15 accomplished modern storytellers, including Jack Sendak, A.S. Byatt and Ernest Hemingway, who offer fresh takes on traditional themes. Catherine Storr's droll ``Little Polly Riding Hood'' tells of a girl who's wiser than a wolf; Jane Yolen's dark ``The White Seal Maid'' is the tale of a selchie, or seal/maid, who seduces a human to produce male mates for her all-female tribe; Richard Kennedy's ``The Dark Princess'' concerns a blind princess who seeks a lover who will give up his sight for her. The stories often follow expected patterns (dangerous quest, search for true love), but female characters participate actively in the heroism and choice-making, while men, sometimes grudgingly, come to accept these women as strong and righteous. The collection is not entirely bold (most characters have a Eurocentric bent) but draws strength from the simple, yet radical, recasting of archetypes. Illustrations not seen by PW. BOMC and QPB alternates. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
Paperback - 978-0-553-37514-5
Hardcover - 208 pages - 978-0-553-09695-8
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