Kissing the Witch Old Tales in New Skins PDF å Witch

Kissing the Witch Old Tales in New Skins Frustratingly simplistic These are easy reversals of fairy tales and stand or fall based entirely on the reader's agreement with the reversal rather than as stories on their own I like the idea of lesbian friendly fairy tales I for one am someone who always wanted to kiss the witch as the title proclaims but there must be a way of telling those stories without leeching all the power of the original Threat is powerful the danger and ugliness of fairy tales are why they have stayed with us so long If all the witches and the stepmothers are good if all Rapunzel wants is to stay in her tower and love her foster mother what is the story about? These versions too often felt that they were going for the easy way switching the fairy tales simply to make all the female characters amicable to one another I would like romantic love between women which is a little hard won not the twist ending that these stories made it And if Snow White is going to stay with the stepmother who did threaten to kill her I'd like a little of the emotional complexity behind that decisionI'm so hard on these stories partly because they came so near to being something that I would love And I very much wanted to love them but in the end they were just too straightforward their prose affected rather than organic each ending on the same emotional note And there are better fairy tale rewrites out there try the terribly under appreciated Donna Jo Napoli who is all about emotional complexity Climbing to the witch's cave one day I called out Who were you before you came to live here? And she said Will I tell you my own story? It is a tale of a kissDo you ever find a book and just know it's going to be everything you love in the world? Only you can't read it right away because it's not the right time or you're not in the right mood and you want everything to be perfect What if you're wrong about it and it doesn't live up to your expectations? How will you find another story to fill the void? So it sits on your shelf or at the back of your mind consciously overlooked patiently waiting for you to get your shit together and give it a read In the orchard I asked Who were you before you married my father? And she said Will I tell you my own story? It is a tale of a handkerchiefKissing the Witch was like that for me I love kisses I love witches I love stories about ladies and lady relationships and lady rivalries tempered with empathy and an understanding of both sides I love retellings of fairy tales especially when they come in collections of short stories Plus I already knew that I liked Emma Donoghue's writing uite a lot so with all of that going for it naturally this book called out to me And so I bought it And so I hesitated I stumbled along the bridge caught her sleeve and asked Who were you before you became Little Sister? And she said Tell you story? Tale of cottageLuckily for me Kissing the Witch was all I wanted it to be and In this collection thirteen reworked fairy tales are linked by a common thread of each woman being asked by another who they were before Before they became witches stepmothers spinsters beasts or crones they were princesses — maids — sisters — daughters — simply girls with their own familiar stories The thread winds back through generations of storytelling ending with the origin of the kiss seeking witch herself Each heroine makes her own decisions Each woman takes her classic story into her own hands and takes responsibility for the things she's done Most importantly each one listens to the other and to herself an orphaned princess hears out her stepmother; an imprisoned ueen asks after the past life of a rescued bird; a Cinderella runs from the ball not because it's midnight but because her fairy saviour is far beautiful and interesting than her besotted prince Gathering my thoughts I wonder who was I before I opened this book? And I say Will I tell you my own story? It is the tale of a market saturated with re imagined fairy tales billing themselves as original and groundbreaking when in fact some of the best such stories are already out there Gail Carson Levine was my favourite as a kid The Rose and the Beast Fairy Tales Retold fundamentally affected me when I read it in my teens The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories is one of my all time favourites period And now I can firmly place Kissing the Witch on the same pedestal in my heart It was wonderful and thoughtful and brilliant and poetic and wise and I just want to read it again and again Out of all the so far 72 books I have read this year this one was DEFINITELY my favourite and yet I know it won't be for everyone It's a group of short stories familiar fairy tales rewritten to be very feminist somewhat ueer in the broad sense and to link together so that each story is the story of one of the characters in it who interacts with another character and at the end of each story the next character is asked to tell their storyThe magic in the story is sort of made natural and earthy instead of as fantastical These are stories of women's relationships of love hate rivalry betrayal sisterhood Men figure as fathers brothers love or lust objects and freuently weak or betraying side charactersThe writing is very calm and deceptively simple there is just enough description but not self indulgent waffling There are some sex scenes but they are written obliuely rather than graphically The stories tantalise because at the end of each I wanted detail and follow up for characters I had bonded with but the book's progress was always on to another story I half hoped the circle would be completed at the end but even though the stories link in a chain each is a tantalising stand aloneBut although there are details left not coloured in like how did a woman in one of the stories become a horse? That never gets explained overall each story is satisfying whether it is sad or romantic there is hardship and conflict and the difficulties of social class and personal flaws in each heroine but the stories overall are about strength courage resourcefulness and redemtion each in its own wayI think my favourite one was the cottage because it took the earliest story I can remember hearing from my parents and changed it beyond recognition Also because the characters in it were morally complexthough that is true for the whole book The pace of the stories may be simple but the bad guys are not really bad they each have a place in society that constructs who they are as do our heroines The balance between what society makes each character and how they fight to define themselves over against social determinism is part of what I lovedAnd for me here's the part not everyone will like I like women loving women in a storyand there is plenty of that While sex is not absent the focus is on intimacy comfort nurture and friendship As I prefer it I don't think it's one you'd try to stop your kids reading 45 stars This is a very creative atmospheric book of fairy tale retellings with some of the best writing I've ever seen I love how three dimensional some of the tales are and how she got these lovely characters developed in so short a time The Tale of the Shoe 5 stars I don't think anyone can ever understand how much I love this Cinderella retelling It's about being who you're supposed to be or being who you truly are And then because I asked she took me to the ball Isn't that what girls are supposed to ask for? The Tale of the Bird 4 stars This is a story about freedom and making your own decisions It ties in much smoothly with its predecessor than many of the stories tie together He would never let anything hurt me but he would never let anything touch me either The Tale of the Rose This retelling of Beauty and the Beast gets five stars simply for its last line which is one of my favorite uotes of all time Aside from the last line I suppose this isn't much of a retelling but it's enjoyable and emotional nonetheless I can't say the uote because it spoils everything but I loved it so much I accidentally memorized it The Tale of the Apple 5 stars A pitch perfect retelling of Snow White with far strong girls This almost reminded me of Once Upon A Time's morally grey ueen Also it connects nicely to its predecessor Say that I am ueen she said her fingers whitening around the scepterIf you really were I told her it would need no saying The Tale of the Handkerchief 5 stars This isn't a typical retelling; I suppose you could call it The Goose Girl but it comes from the point of view of that story's villain This is an odd yet strangely enticing story The ending is especially beautiful And then the tears did come and I hoped they were for her a ueen dead in her prime and not just for my own treacherous self The Tale of the Hair 3 stars I don't love this story; it's not very strong thematically and the main character is slightly obnoxious That being said it's interesting and enticing and definitely worth a read You should've known better than to give me what I asked for I whispered Now the wind is scented with lavender and the wolves howl because they cannot have him and when he blows his horn I will go to him The Tale of the Brother 4 stars I have no idea what happened in this story but I enjoyed it It's sort of a retelling of Hansel and Gretel but not uite I have never been content to be nothing but a girl The Tale of the Spinster 3 stars A retelling of Rumplestiltskin This one is interesting although not the strongest thematically If I have trampled you it was to mesh your fibers into something useful The Tale of the Cottage 2 stars The voice is just too weird and disjointed here I understand the point but this retelling of Hansel and Gretel just falls flat The Tale of the Skin 5 stars A princess who runs to become a pauper a pauper who fails at getting the prince There is something so unspeakably beautiful about this story It's so messed up and so gorgeous It's also the source of one of my other favorite uotes from this brief book See this leaf little girl blackened under the snow? It has died so it will be born again on the branch in spring time Once I was a stupid girl; now I am an angry woman Sometimes you must shed your skin to save it The Tale of the Needle 4 stars A retelling of sleeping beauty that discusses the darker elements of the tale– for example that the parents keep their daughter locked away for her whole life I was innocent of all effort; I was blank as a page The Tale of the Voice 5 stars This retelling of The Little Mermaid addresses the fact that a woman must lose her voice to get the man of her dreams Here the witch is not the villain; the girl's own worshipful love is Perhaps we get not what we deserve but what we demand The Tale of the Kiss 5 stars This story is a show stopper written with such a gorgeous voice I love the main character here Power I had to learn how to pick up without getting burnt how to shape it and conceal it and flaunt it and use it and when to use it and when to still my breath and do nothing at all This aching short story collection is recommended to everyone Climbing to the witch’s cave one day I called outWho were youbefore you came to live here?And she said Will I tell you my own story?It is a tale of a kiss I had heard of Emma Donoghue mostly because people kept talking about her novel Room This however was the first encounter I have had with her writing Kissing the Witch is a clever little book that takes well known fairy tales and tells them from the perspective of different women involved in the stories Each story is then linked through the characters who each tell their own story It's a lovely structure and the book made for captivating reading After all Donoghue is a great story teller However if we criticise that fairy tales are in need of modernisation because of the dated stereotypes and gender ineuality then Donoghue's approach is eually flawed It's an entertaining read but hardly any of the male characters are portrayed as decent human beings It just doesn't do to try and fight fire with fire or in this case sexism with sexism 25 really but not rounding up At first glance Kissing the Witch appears to be a simple anthology of fairy like tales Upon deeper reading it becomes clear that the separate stories are fragments—or different points of viewing one continuous thread The way that the fragments are woven together is brilliantEarly the reader is aware that there are continual suggestions of tales that heshe has heard since childhood Hints are dropped here and there; and they glimmer beneath the surface of the text The images are repeatedly revisited; and the reader is invited to gather them and piece them into any of several possible interpretationsReading the book is like following behind Hansel and Gretel picking up the strewn clues and seeking the the messages hidden along the paths The plot twists and turns at a dizzying rate of speed weaving an intricate and passionate tapestry that celebrates and empowers woman in her universal uest to know and befriend all of the complex voices within herself Donoghue combines self righteous messages with blatantly didactic interior monologues which can only appeal to those already believing everything she says She spurs no thought which was not already there and in writing a book which never aspired to art has done what your average writer does increase the general volume of words in print and nothing A string of random monkey typed characters would have aided mankind as well I picked this up because Kirsty Logan of The Gracekeepers said that it was very influential for her These are fairytale retellings with a feminist twist They’re also stacked like Russian dolls so at the end of one retelling you’ll have the ‘villain’ tell their backstory and the witch of one tale becomes the heroine of the next Your favourite fairy tale will probably be in here There’s a Little Mermaid retelling which was probably my favourite Thirteen tales are unspun from the deeply familiar and woven anew into a collection of fairy tales that wind back through time Acclaimed Irish author Emma Donoghue reveals heroines young and old in unexpected alliances sometimes treacherous sometimes erotic but always courageous Told with luminous voices that shimmer with sensuality and truth these age old characters shed their antiuated cloaks to travel a seductive new landscape radiantly transformed Cinderella forsakes the handsome prince and runs off with the fairy godmother; Beauty discovers the Beast behind the mask is not so very different from the face she sees in the mirror; Snow White is awakened from slumber by the bittersweet fruit of an unnamed desire Acclaimed writer Emma Donoghue spins new tales out of old in a magical web of thirteen interconnected stories about power and transformation and choosing one's own path in the world In these fairy tales women young and old tell their own stories of love and hate honor and revenge passion and deception Using the intricate patterns and oral rhythms of traditional fairy tales Emma Donoghue wraps age old characters in a dazzling new skin 2000 List of Popular Paperbacks for YA If I were to use one word to describe this book it would be clever “Change for your own sake if you must not for what you imagine another will ask of you” These are considered fairytale re tellings with a feminist twist but the best part is that they are all connected as a woman asks the other who they were before and together they make a novel that leaves you begging for They were girls princesses innocent or not so all before they became witches stepmothers crones These stories speak of their rivalries loves endurance relationships how everything amounts to who we are and what we do a fight against perfection betrayal hate “There are some tales not for telling whether because they are too long too precious too laughable too painful too easy to need telling or too hard to explain After all after years and travels my secrets are all I have left to chew on in the night”

About the Author: Emma Donoghue

Grew up in Ireland 20s in England doing a PhD in eighteenth century literature since then in Canada Best known for my novel film and play ROOM also other contemporary and historical novels and short stories non fiction theatre and middle grade novels

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *