As a suitable pairing with our review of The Wild Girl, this week we’re pleased to be giving away one signed copy of Bitter Greens, Kate Forsyth’s retelling of ‘Rapunzel’. Kim Wilkins called Bitter Greens ‘the best fairy tale retelling since Angela Carter’, and according to C. W. Gortner, ‘Kate Forsyth’s Bitter Greens is not only a magnificent achievement that would make any novelist jealous, it’s one of the most beautiful paeans to the magic of storytelling that I’ve ever read.’ Here’s what Kate herself told us about the book:
I think the main problem with retelling such a well-known tale is that everyone knows the story (or at least they think they do.) And so the challenge for me as a writer was to find some way to make the story compelling and surprising, full of unexpected turns, while still being true to the narrative. One way for me to do that was to write it as a historical novel; that way, I could not rely on convenient magic to explain the mysteries of the story, such as Rapunzel’s fathoms-long hair, or the tower with neither door not stair. I had to find logical, realistic explanations instead.
Using the life story of the woman who first wrote the tale was another way to make the story feel real, as if it might have really happened, and of course had the added benefit of giving a voice to a woman who has been rendered mute by the patriarchal society in which she lived.
is open now, has closed and is was eligible to anyone in the world except for Unsettling Wonder staff, and runs till Saturday, 25 January 2014, 11.59 pm (whatever time zone you’re in); the winner will be announced the following Monday. To put your name in a virtual hat, leave a comment below telling us what your favourite tale is from The Brother’s Grimm, and why. The comments will be numbered in order of time stamp, earliest to latest, and a lucky comment will be chosen by the random number generator.
Tell all your friends, tell the social media world, and tell us what your favourite Grimm tale is, to win this one special copy of Bitter Greens. Starting—now!
Update 27-Jan-14: And the random number generator has decreed that the winner is Jodi, who commented that her favorite Grimms tale is “Hansel and Gretel” (KHM 15). While she didn’t win the keys to the Gingerbread House, she will be getting a signed copy of Bitter Greens in the post.
But don’t let the end of the giveaway stop you from leaving a comment and telling us what your favorite Grimm’s tale is. Fascinating range so far, mostly tending towards the more troubling, metamorphic tales. And, curiously, no tales adapted by Disney. Make of that what you will. And then tell us your own favourite.