Wayne State University Press, 2007
Despite the availability of several eloquent gender studies of fairy tales, a popular reference on men and fairy tales has so far been nonexistent. Brothers and Beasts offers a new perspective by allowing twenty-three male writers the chance to explore their artistic and emotional relationship to their favorite fairy-tale stories. In their personal essays, the contributors who include genre, literary, mainstream, and visual media writers offer new insight into men s reception of fairy tales. Brothers and Beasts, the follow-up to Kate Bernheimer's influential Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales, offers new avenues for research in fairy-tale studies.
Contributors: Steve Almond, Brian Baldi, Christopher Barzak, Joshua Beckman, Greg Bills, Jiri Cech, Alexander Chee, Robert Coover, Neil Gaiman, Johannes Goransson, Ilya Kaminsky, Eric Kraft, Norman Lock, Gregory Maguire, Michael Martone, Michael Mejia, Timothy Schaffert, David J. Schwartz, Vijay Seshadri, Richard Siken, Kieran Suckling, Maria Tatar, Jeff VanderMeer, Willy Vlautin, Jack Zipes. Introduction by Kate Bernheimer.
Brothers and Beasts is a creative delight, forcing some wonderful male writers and scholars to articulate their own relationship to fairy tales. It is insightful and intensely autobiographical.
--Jeannine Blackwell, dean of the Graduate School at the University of Kentucky and co-author of The Queen s Mirror: Fairy Tales by German Women Writers, 1780 1900
I read this enchanting collection cover-to-cover in two days. It s appealing and fresh, thoughtful and often funny; the writers reveal themselves in stunning array, naked but never tawdry. Brothers and Beasts is for anyone who likes a good tale and treasures the act of imagining.
--Lydia Millet, author of Oh Pure and Radiant Heart and My Happy Life
For thousands of years, storytellers have drawn upon fairy tales to create fictions relevant to their own times, making use of their symbolic language to explore issues of gender, class, justice, power, and cultural identity. In Brothers and Beasts, twenty-four male writers make it clear why fairy tales are still important to a wide range of storytellers today. The essays here are both whimsical and scholarly; both archly provocative and deeply moving. This superb companion to Mirror, Mirror demonstrates the ways that the stories read in childhood continue to shape us as adults and why many writers return to them long after childhood is done.
--Terri Windling, author of The Wood Wife and other books