A Wild Swan

A Wild Swan

And Other Tales

Book - 2015
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"Fairy tales for our times from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours. A poisoned apple and a monkey's paw with the power to change fate; a girl whose extraordinarily long hair causes catastrophe; a man with one human arm and one swan's wing; and a house deep in the forest, constructed of gumdrops and gingerbread, vanilla frosting and boiled sugar. In A Wild Swan and Other Tales, the people and the talismans of lands far, far away--the mythic figures of our childhoods and the source of so much of our wonder--are transformed by Michael Cunningham into stories of sublime revelation. Here are the moments that our fairy tales forgot or deliberately concealed: the years after a spell is broken, the rapturous instant of a miracle unexpectedly realized, or the fate of a prince only half cured of a curse. The Beast stands ahead of you in line at the convenience store, buying smokes and a Slim Jim, his devouring smile aimed at the cashier. A malformed little man with a knack for minor acts of wizardry goes to disastrous lengths to procure a child. A loutish and lazy Jack prefers living in his mother's basement to getting a job, until the day he trades a cow for a handful of magic beans. Reimagined by one of the most gifted storytellers of his generation, and exquisitely illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, rarely have our bedtime stories been this dark, this perverse, or this true"-- Provided by publisher.
"A twisted retelling of classic fairy tales from the novelist Michael Cunningham"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780374290252
Branch Call Number: FIC/CUNNINGHAM
Characteristics: 134 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Shimizu, Yuko 1965-- Illustrator


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In this slim volume beautifully illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, Cunningham transforms eleven classic fairy tales. Some are given a modern retelling and others are turned into something wholly different. The title story, “A Wild Swan” is based on the Hans Christian Anderson story. Cunningham conceiv... Read More »

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Michael Colford Jul 23, 2016

Michael Cunningham tackles the fairy tale in this collection of stories, exploring what happens after the happy ever after... or what's going in the heads of the characters when they're dealing with hair long enough to allow a prince to scale a tower, or when you have a swan's wing for an arm. Most of these tales have dark undercurrents, as all fairy tales do, but not all of them.

Cunningham's stories are enhanced by some beautiful illustrations by Yuko Shimizu, and the slim volume is a lovely, light summer read.

Mar 06, 2016

Another take on the famaliar fairy tales..

Jan 09, 2016

These stories are funny and clever, telling us what happened after, or perhaps what happened before. But there are enough graphic sexual bits (brief descriptive phrases, generally) that you might want to think twice before handing it off to your fairy tale-loving daughter. (That made me sad; my 14-year old would have loved this book.)


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