cover image How to Fracture a Fairy Tale

How to Fracture a Fairy Tale

Jane Yolen. Tachyon, $15.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-61696-306-4

Yolen (The Emerald Circus) has put together a thought-provoking collection of reprinted and original works that explore every aspect of fairy tales. Some tell old tales from a different point of view: wolves from many stories share their perspectives in “Happy Dens or a Day in the Old Wolves’ Home,” and readers get the bridge’s view of the troll in “The Bridge’s Complaint.” Many draw on serious moments of history, such as “Granny Rumple” and “Slipping Sideways Through Eternity,” which examine the persecution of Jews. Some common stories are restructured to have a different kind of happy ending: in “Cinder Elephant,” Elly is a fan of birds and books, and the prince falls in love with her for her brain. Other tales are somber or even distressing, such as “Allerleirauh,” in which a father marries his own daughter as a replacement for her mother. Readers will find most of these stories relatable and powerful in their messages, and Yolen’s notes about each work’s origin are so interesting that they’re worth rereading in their own right. Agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown Ltd. (Nov.)