My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales

Paperback | September 28, 2010

EditorKate BernheimerIntroduction byKate BernheimerForeword byGregory Maguire

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The fairy tale lives again in this book of forty new stories by some of the biggest names in contemporary fiction.

Neil Gaiman, “Orange”
Aimee Bender, “The Color Master”
Joyce Carol Oates, “Blue-bearded Lover”
Michael Cunningham, “The Wild Swans”
These and more than thirty other stories by Francine Prose, Kelly Link, Jim Shepard, Lydia Millet, and many other extraordinary writers make up this thrilling celebration of fairy tales—the ultimate literary costume party.
Spinning houses and talking birds. Whispered secrets and borrowed hope. Here are new stories sewn from old skins, gathered by visionary editor Kate Bernheimer and inspired by everything from Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” and “The Little Match Girl” to Charles Perrault’s “Bluebeard” and “Cinderella” to the Brothers Grimm’s “Hansel and Gretel” and “Rumpelstiltskin” to fairy tales by Goethe and Calvino and from China, Japan, Vietnam, Russia, Norway, and Mexico.
Fairy tales are our oldest literary tradition, and yet they chart the imaginative frontiers of the twenty-first century as powerfully as they evoke our earliest encounters with literature. This exhilarating collection restores their place in the literary canon.

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From the Publisher

The fairy tale lives again in this book of forty new stories by some of the biggest names in contemporary fiction. Neil Gaiman, “Orange” Aimee Bender, “The Color Master” Joyce Carol Oates, “Blue-bearded Lover” Michael Cunningham, “The Wild Swans” These and more than thirty other stories by Francine Prose, Kelly Link, Jim Shepard, Lydia...

Kate Bernheimer is the founder of the literary journal Fairy Tale Review as well as the author of two novels and a children's book and he editor of two other anthologies of original short fiction. She lives in Tucson, Arizona. Gregory Maguire is the bestselling author of Wicked, the basis for the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical of ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:576 pages, 8.38 × 5.5 × 1.25 inPublished:September 28, 2010Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:014311784X

ISBN - 13:9780143117841

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Read from the Book

My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate MeContents  Introduction by Kate Bernheimer Foreword by Gregory Maguire Russia Joy Williams, “Baba Iaga and the Pelican Child” (source tale: “Baba Yaga”) Jonathon Keats, “Ardour” (source tale: “Baba Yaga”) Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, “I’m Here” (source tale: “Ivan Tsarevich”) Germany Alissa Nutting, “The Brother and the Bird” (source tale: “The Juniper Tree,” Brothers Grimm) Francine Prose, “Hansel and Gretel” (source tale: “Hansel & Gretel,” Brothers Grimm) Kevin Brockmeier, “A Day in the Life of Half of Rumpelstiltskin” (source tale: “Rumpelstiltskin,” Brothers Grimm) Neil LaBute, “With Hair of Hand-Spun Gold” (source tale: “Rumpelstiltskin,” Brothers Grimm)  Shelley Jackson, “The Swan Brothers” (source tale: “The Six Swans,” Brothers Grimm)  Joyelle McSweeney, “The Warm Mouth” (source tale: “The Bremen Town Musicians,” Brothers Grimm) Lydia Millet, “Snow White, Rose Red” (source tale: “Snow-White and Rose-Red,” Brothers Grimm) Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum, “The Erlking” (source tale: “The Erlking,” Johann Goethe) Norway Brian Evenson, “Dapplegrim” (source tale: “Dapplegrim,” Peter Christen Asbjornien and Jorgen Moe)  Denmark Michael Cunningham, “The Wild Swans” (source tale: “The Wild Swans,” Hans Christian Andersen)  Karen Joy Fowler, “Halfway People” (source tale: “The Wild Swans,” Hans Christian Andersen)  Rikki Ducornet, “Green Air” (source tale: “The Little Match Girl,” Hans Christian Andersen)  Timothy Schaffert, “The Mermaid in the Tree” (source tale: “The Little Mermaid,” Hans Christian Andersen) Katherine Vaz, “What the Conch Shell Sings When the Body Is Gone” (source tale: “The Little Mermaid,” Hans Christian Andersen) Karen Brennan, “The Snow Queen” (source tale: “The Snow Queen,” Hans Christian Andersen) Lucy Corin, “Eyes of Dogs” (source tale: “The Tinder Box,” Hans Christian Andersen) Ilya Kaminsky, “Little Pot” (source tale: “The Teapot,” Hans Christian Andersen) England Michael Martone, “A Bucket of Warm Spit” (source tale: “Jack and the Beanstalk,” Joseph Jacobs)  Kelly Link, “Catskin” (source tale: “Catskin,” Joseph Jacobs) Ireland Chris Adrian, “Teague O'Kane and the Corpse” (source tale: “Teague O’Kane and The Corpse,” William Butler Yeats) Italy Jim Shepard, “Pleasure Boating in Lituya Bay” (source tale: “Jump Into My Sack,” Italo Calvino) Kathryn Davis, “Body-without-Soul” (source tale: “Body-without-Soul,” Italo Calvino) Kellie Wells, “The Girl, the Wolf, the Crone” (source tale: “The Story of Grandmother”) Sabrina Orah Mark, “My Brother Gary Made a Movie and This Is What Happened” (source tale: “The Young Slave,” Giambattista Basile)  France Aimee Bender, “The Color Master” (source tale: “Donkeyskin,” Charles Perrault)  Marjorie Sandor, “The White Cat” (source tale: “The White Cat,” Madame d’Aulnoy) Joyce Carol Oates, “Blue-bearded Lover” (source tale: “Bluebeard,” Charles Perrault) John Updike, “Bluebeard in Ireland” (source tale: “Bluebeard,” Charles Perrault) Rabih Alameddine, “A Kiss to Wake the Sleeper” (source tale: “Sleeping Beauty,” Charles Perrault)  Stacey Richter, “A Case Study of Emergency Room Procedure and Risk Management by Hospital Staff Members in the Urban Facility” (source tale: “Cinderella,” Charles Perrault)  Greece Neil Gaiman, “Orange” (source tale: The Odyssey, Homer) Francesca Lia Block, “Psyche's Dark Night” (source tale: “Cupid and Psyche”) Vietnam Lily Hoang, “The Story of the Mosquito” (source tale: “The Story of the Mosquito") Japan Naoko Awa, “First Day of Snow” (source tale: “A Kamikakushi Tale”) Hiromi Itō, “I Am Anjuhimeko” (source tale: “Sanshō the Steward”) Mexico Michael Mejia, “Coyote Takes Us Home” (source tale: “Tales from Jalisco,” Mexico) United States Kim Addonizio, “Ever After” (source tale: “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” Walt Disney) Kate Bernheimer, “Whitework” (source tale: “The Oval Portrait,” Edgar Allan Poe)

Editorial Reviews

"Spooky, shocking, and surreal narrative tricks and treats [in] forty spanking- new stories inspired by classic folktales from around the world are showcased in [this] lavish anthology."-Elle"The shiveringly titled My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me proves that the fairy tale can still mutate into new, chilling, often humorous forms... There are many surprising plums in this pie... A fine Aimee Bender's 'The Color Master.'...Kevin Brockmeier's 'A Day in the Life of Half of Rumpelstiltskin'' is a grotesque, witty, and melancholy guess into what life must be like for the Rumpelstiltskin... The best story here is an old one by John Updike... Another triumph of realism is Francine Prose's 'Hansel and Gretel.'... Chris Adrian's retelling of the Irish story 'Teague O'Kane and the Corpse' is a gruesome romp. Karen Joy Fowler's 'Halfway People' is eerie and stirring. Jim Shepard's 'Pleasure Boating in Lituya Bay' is challengingly complex. And the haunting 'First Day of Snow' by Naoko Awa is a fairy tale that makes you feel like a child again."-The Boston Globe“Witty, gruesome, eerie, funny, and . . . fresh, surprising, and vividly sharp . . . this collection offers surprises and delights at every turn. . . . The author contributor list is a huge draw: Neil Gaiman rubs shoulders with Michael Cunningham, Shelley Jackson keeps company with John Updike, and Aimee Bender shares page room with Kelly Link.” —Library Journal"The fairy tale is not dead. This wonderful collection brings together some of our best contemporary writers and some of our most beloved (and even feared) old stories. Rumplestiltskin, Bluebeard, the Earl-King, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White-all come alive again in vivid and colloquial prose. This is a book of brilliant dreams and dazzling nightmares: perfect fare for imaginative readers of any age."-Seth Lerer, author of Children's Literature: A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter and dean of arts and humanities at the University of California, San Diego"I cannot remember a time I had more fun reading a book! Many of these contemporary tales rival the originals in creepiness, joy, and impact."-Darcey Steinke, author of Easter Everywhere"Let's open the door to the green room and peek to see who is waiting. A bevy of beauties . . . an evanescence of sprites . . . an abundance of adversaries . . . a passel of princes . . . Maybe we should have brought that bubbly; but there's something being served here more deeply inebriating than champagne. Hush."-Gregory Maguire, from the Foreword