I have just received my Waterstone’s (I know it doesn’t have an apostrophe now, but it just feels so wrong not to put one – my blog, my rules!) September email bulletin and got quite excited! Philip Pullman is choosing his favourite Grimm’s fairy stories for a beautiful hardback. It is going to be published on 27th September – I wonder how long I am going to be able to resist as that is also my pay-day! Here is the link to it on the Waterstone’s website if you’d like a sneak-peak: Grimm Tales: For Young and Old
I have always loved fairy stories. I was told tales about fairies, pixies and brownies by my Grandma and my Dad read Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to me at an absurdly young age. I feel like I learnt to read with these magical tales and now, whenever I feel like a bit of harmless escapism, I will pull down my Hans Christian Anderson collection or look up Seven Miles of Steel Thistles, an excellent blog on this subject. I particularly love the darkness in fairy stories and that is why I think Philip Pullman is an inspired choice as editor. He combines, in a modern way, that wonderful mix of innocence, adventure and danger that sums up the perfect fairy story.
I’ve just started to read The Snow Child, which takes its inspiration from a Russian fairy story. These ancient, simple tales still hold a huge sway on modern literature, from Margaret Atwood to this example by Eowyn Ivey. I believe that however sophisticated we become as a species, there will always be a place for fairy tales.