By Michael Cunningham
Fairy stories for our instances from the Pulitzer Prize–winning writer of The Hours
A poisoned apple and a monkey's paw with the ability to alter destiny; a lady whose terribly lengthy hair factors disaster; a guy with one human arm and one swan's wing; and a home deep within the woodland, built of gumdrops and gingerbread, vanilla frosting and boiled sugar. In A Wild Swan and different stories, the folk and the talismans of lands some distance, some distance away―the mythic figures of our childhoods and the resource of lots of our wonder―are remodeled via Michael Cunningham into tales of elegant revelation.
Here are the moments that our fairy stories forgot or intentionally hid: the years after a spell is damaged, the rapturous fast of a miracle suddenly discovered, or the destiny of a prince merely part cured of a curse. The Beast stands sooner than you in line on the comfort shop, purchasing smokes and a narrow Jim, his devouring smile geared toward the cashier. A malformed little guy with a knack for minor acts of wizardry is going to disastrous lengths to acquire a toddler. A loutish and lazy Jack prefers residing in his mother's basement to getting a role, until eventually the day he trades a cow for a handful of magic beans.
Reimagined through the most talented storytellers of his iteration, and exquisitely illustrated through Yuko Shimizu, hardly have our bedtime tales been this darkish, this perverse, or this actual.
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Additional resources for A Wild Swan: And Other Tales
That was the lesson of the legends. And it was true that one must be vigilant not to let a graymalkin get close, an owl like Nyra, to be precise. But nowhere did legends suggest anything more than vigilance. How had all this veneration come about? And so quickly? The Band and Coryn had barely been gone a moon cycle. How she wished they would come back soon. Then perhaps all this would end. But would it? Otulissa felt her gizzard tremble. CHAPTER NINE Coryn Sneaks Out Luckily for Coryn, the hollow where he artel the Band had settled was not.
She knew she wouldn't. Teacups might be hidden, but words could be overheard, could leak out, and she had noticed that for the first time in all the years she had been at the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, the owls in this golden era had become more guarded. They were frightened to say what they really thought. Indeed, what was considered a great flourishing of the Golden Tree could be the beginning of its death. How she longed for a true season of white rain, when the berries would turn the color of dried bones and the tree, leafless, would look grim and dignified with its dark limbs spreading like a black skeleton against a wintry sky.
Otulissa asked politely. " Otulissa immediately decided to own up to having the teacup and silently cursed Madame Plonk. At least she-would not be accused of lying. " She fetched the teacup from a cubby in her hollow so quickly that Gemma I most surprised. "Take it," she said, shoving it toward the Whiskered Screech. " "She merely requested that I keep it for her. , she thought. " Gemma had seemed visibly upset. This had obviously been too easy. " "I don't have a lot of room in here, as you can see," Otulissa had said, gesturing with a small sweeping arc of one wing.
A Wild Swan: And Other Tales by Michael Cunningham