Occasional Readings until Halloween

I’ve been reading fairy tales as a response to some reviews in the Guardian of two new collections.

I started with Jamila Gavin’s collection, Blackberry Blue and Other Tales (Tamarind, £9.99). In her preface, she writes that she to write tales that ‘extended the European image’ so that more diverse children might enjoy them. She does this successfully with tales of transformation. A core to these stories is the notion of knowing and accepting oneself to become. This book came out a while ago but I’m ashamed to say that it has taken this long to read.

The next collection is Marina Warner’s Fly Away Home (Salt, £8.99) which mixes both the fairy tales and the short stories in this world. As coming from a historian f fairy tales, Warner dives into the deeper and more abstract meanings. It reminds me slightly of Helen Oyeyemi’s work.

I’ve got the new Salman Rushdie which is a retelling of the 1001 Nights and updates it to this world but linked deeply to the original world. It reminds me of Ian MacDonald’s Cyberabad Days and Rover of Gods in its mix of stories.

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