Here are the moments that our fairy tales forgot or deliberately concealed, reimagined by one of the most gifted storytellers of his generation, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours. Rarely have our bedtime stories been this dark, this perverse, or this true.
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.
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.
Praise for The Snow Queen: "Clean and sharp as an ice crystal; a brief but profound and poetic meditation on love, death and compassion from a master craftsman of language." (Observer)
"Michael Cunningham's resonant new novel...is arguably [his] most original and emotionally piercing book to date." (New York Times)
"The pursuit of transcendence in all kinds of forms - music, drugs, a McQueen minidress, and those things less tangible but no less powerfully felt - drives Michael Cunningham's best novel in more than a decade." (Vogue)
Praise for The Hours: "The Hours is a book which heightens the perception of the reader. Cunningham's craftsmanship is overwhelming." (Robert Farren, Independent on Sunday)
"An extremely moving, original and memorable novel." (Hermione Lee, TLS)
"Engrossing, imaginative and humane." (Richard Francis, Observer)
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Bringing Fairy Tales Alive
The print version has illustrations and it would be such a shame to miss these. But the stories are easy to follow on audio and it definitely adds another dimension.
I loved the retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. Cunningham really inhabits the psyche of the character and makes him entirely credible.We really feel sympathy for this deformed man who just wants to have a child to love.
The wonderful rhythm of the language.
Once Upon a (Not-So) Happily Ever After