Thursday, May 28, 2015

My Jewelry Commercial has Debuted: Book of Dreams, By Nora Stasio, Fairy Tale News Reporter

A still, from Book of Dreams

IT’S FINALLY DONE! The project I’ve been working on for so long! My jewelry commercial, Book of Dreams!

This is a video I made to showcase my handmade accessories, which I've talked about on this blog before, if you recall. Yes, alongside my love of fairy tales and crafting, I'm also an aspiring filmmaker! It seemed only natural for me to combine all my passions together into one exciting project. With some help from my wonderful, lovely friends, it actually came together!
To tell the truth, I have actually been working on this project since last summer. Before creating all the necklaces and headpieces featured here, and putting everyone’s outfits together, I first had to conceptualize the scenes, and that's what ended up taking the longest. I wanted the overall feel to be classically dreamy and magical, but in a very organic way. Eventually, I settled on two distinct scene concepts that I thought went well together: the first, an all-natural, pastoral scene of sisterly nymphs, roaming the forest, adorned in ivory lace and flowers (representing the day), and the second, an elegant tea party with black and white costumes, just hinting at a gothic edge (representing the night).
I worked with my brother, Marc, himself an inspiring composer, to create the original song, “Pages,” that's used here, and yes, that is me singing! I'm planning to release an official lyric video of the song as soon as I can, to really showcase the brilliant work he did.
Our budget was low, and the video quality could have been sharper, but I hope it comes across as charming and humble... All in all, I really am pleased with the final product, and I sincerely hope others will enjoy it, too.
If you enjoyed, please do subscribe to my YouTube channel! I'll be releasing a new video of bloopers and behind-the-scenes footage soon! I also hope to make more videos like this in the near future, some with more overt fairy tale themes, if I get the chance!
To keep up with my work, here are all the places you can follow me! (Especially if you want to see more of that beautiful photoshoot I did with my friend, Mary!)
Thanks so so much for watching! Leave a comment to let me know what you thought! You can be honest :)

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Giveaway Coming

A giveaway of Paula Richey's gorgeous art will start on June 1.
Stay tuned!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's 'The Little Mermaid,' by Paula Richey, Artist--Giveaway Coming Soon!

This image is not yet named. Any ideas?
Editor's note: As soon as I get from under student papers, EC will have a giveaway for some of Paula's gorgeous images. For now, enjoy learning about her artistic process.

Hans Christian Andersen had a history of unrequited love and evidently was familiar with on pointe ballet and the extreme physical demands it makes on the dancers, both of which are clearly shown in “The Little Mermaid.” In my painting, I wanted to keep close to his original tale and inspirations, while drawing attention to the overlooked elements of the story.

For this piece, I began by considering her feet. In the original tale, the little mermaid had her tail split in two so that she could walk on land, and every step felt as though she was walking on knives. Her steps are delicate and graceful, and she dances on her toes like a ballerina, though her feet bleed easily. Rather than the clean, magical transformation seen in the Disney version, she has chosen to injure herself and endure the suffering of trying to become human.

In my painting, I outlined her hips and legs in black, but used red to create flowing lines that indicate her calves, heels and soles of her feet. I continued the line beyond her toes to evoke several aspects of her story: her lost tail, her bleeding feet, and also the long ribbons of a ballerina's toe shoes.

Next, I considered her pose. Her shoulders are rounded, and she holds her hands to her heart, cradling her hopes for happiness. But she doesn't slump, and though she's sad and suffering, she is resolute. Even when all hope of marrying the prince and gaining a soul is lost, she still loves him and chooses his life over hers. This is an often overlooked strength, to suffer and suffer and still never become bitter and vengeful. Especially considering that in the usual tales concerning mermaids, they don't value human life at all, and are known for leading sailors to their deaths. But this little mermaid has made her choices, and she owns them until the end. So I've taken care to show her pain, while leaving out sharp angles and any hint of aggressiveness.

Then, her hair. I considered making it red, but decided to distance my work from Disney's Ariel. Besides, black hair symbolizes her sadness and imminent death, while red would have suggested life and joy. The wind plays with her hair, and it's described as wavy, so I depicted it blowing in the wind and used strokes that I would use for ocean waves. Strands of her hair are blown across her mouth, to show that she is mute. 

In the tale, she was rescued and given another chance by the daughters of the air, who send soft breezes to relieve mankind's suffering -- which is an ending that comes out of nowhere, until you consider that wind is everywhere and the story is told very tightly through the little mermaid's viewpoint. Hans Christian Andersen could have broken the narrative viewpoint to explain “spirits of the air,” but this is the mermaid's story, and she chose to spare the prince and die without having any clue that she would be rescued.

There are other deliberate choices I made for this painting, such as her dominant, centered placing, the symmetry of her pose, and floating her in the white space without any other strokes anchoring her to the background. These choices pay tribute to her status as the central character and the way all the action rests on her choices, and even her characterization as a thoughtful, steadfast person who considers all options and, once she has decided on a course, does not stray from it.

My entire abstract fairy tale series is painted on 9" x 12" white paper with red and black acrylics, and with each one I endeavor to say something new about the fairy tales that inspire them with as few lines as possible. Fairy tales are so often brief and abstract themselves, with endless opportunities for reinterpretation. The tropes they play can be limited, usually involving love, royalty, trials, rewards, and some aspect of the fantastic, but within this palette of plot elements there is infinite variety. Similar to the use of white space in a painting, what is not said is just as important as what is said, and when people (usually parents) are absent, their presence is missed. My goal for each painting is to put so much into each line that every time someone sees them, they have the ability to reveal something new. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Susan Hoerth's Superbly Altered Books, By Nora Stasio, Fairy Tale News Reporter

Editor's note: I bought a gorgeous altered fairy tale book from Susan recently, and received a discount, which is why Nora is doing this post. Believe me, I wouldn't be running the post if I didn't love her work!

I just came back from Susan Hoerth's blog, 'The Abandoned Attic', and after checking out her artwork, I can't stop gushing.

Susan humbly refers to her creations as 'altered books' when they're really much more than that. Hoerth 'rescues' antique books, cuts out the illustrations, then cuts them up a whole bunch, and uses the cut-outs to create paper sculptures of sorts, with the covers of the book often serving as a kind of a frame. I'm afraid none of my words could possibly do justice to the beauty that is Susan's work. You'll have to see it for yourself.

She calls them altered books because she only works with what's inside the book and doesn't add anything foreign to that, aside from a bit of glue and tape. All the drawings you see are illustrations she has cut out of the book. She likes to think of it as doing an "autopsy," cutting the book open and moving things around.

When I said she uses 'antique' books, I mean that she prefers only to work with books that were printed in or before 1923. She finds the thickness and the texture of the paper from this era to be quite conducive to her projects. She admires the charming style of the old-fashioned illustrations. But most of all, Susan hopes to repurpose old books that were surely otherwise doomed for a dumpster. The books she purchases are so old, they're basically past the point of being readable. By restoring them to life with a new purpose, she is also saving them from certain destruction, and in her own abstract way, preserving their history.

It takes Susan about two weeks to complete one of these masterpieces. She's only been doing this since 2008, but according to the stats on her Etsy Shop, called 'Raiders of the Lost Art', she's already sold over 2,000 of them. And that's impressive, seeing that each book piece runs from about $200 to $500. (Other items cost much less.) You can visit her shop and purchase one for yourself, or request a commission.

Here's the link to her blog:

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Fairytale Follow-Up: Into the Woods and Back Again, By Nora Stasio


Well, it took me awhile, but I finally went out and saw the film I’ve already written about multiple times – Disney’s adaptation of Sondheim’s dark fairy tale musical, "Into the Woods."
And I have to say, I thought it was wonderful! A little long, a tad slow at times, but wonderfully done! I highly recommend it.

You've probably already heard what everyone's been saying. Meryl Streep is fabulous in this - acting AND singing. You'll see why she was nominated for a "Best Actress" Oscar. And that’s exciting! How often do fairy tale films get noticed at the Oscars? Sure, there's the occasional  "Best Costumes," "Best Makeup," "Best Set Design" (or in Disney's case, "Best Original Song"), but how often do the actors get recognized?

Why does a fairy tale Oscar nod feel so rare? This is my best guess: The Academy seems to look to "mature," adult-oriented, serious-in-tone dramas to find their best actors and actresses of the year. Fairy tale films tend to be more-family oriented, light-hearted, whimsical, even saccharine. And they are, much of the time, aimed directly at children, not highbrow film critics.

Whatever the reason, we ought to salute Meryl. She may in fact be the first person in history to be nominated for "Best Actor/Actress" for playing a fairy tale character. The article below has a lot more info on that fact:

In my first article on Into the Woods, I was worried that Disney would Disney-fy the fairy tales and not play them as darkly as the original theatrical stage production did. I'm quite pleased to say that I needn't have worried at all! Below, I'll address some areas that I had been concerned about, and discuss how the film handled them.

So ... let me start with Little Red and the Wolf. I discussed my concerns about their relationship here.  Upon seeing the film, I found the scene of their meeting to be very awkward. I think Sondheim's lyrics may have been edited a tad, I can’t say for sure, but they still had a sexual subtext, in my opinion. So it was somewhat uncomfortable seeing Johnny Depp sing these words to such a young girl - she is 13. But other than that, I didn’t feel that the sexuality of the whole situation was emphasized or played out in a very noticeable way. In the next scene, where the Wolf eats her (which is implied and not shown), there's nothing titillating or erotic about it. I just thought the scene was scary - even though I knew it was coming!

The original Broadway production of "Into the Woods" was aimed at an adult audience, but this is definitely a PG film. There's nothing too extreme, but nothing has been dumbed-down for children either. In fact, I thought it felt very much like an adult-oriented film.

There are a few moments of gore (implied gore, nothing is actually shown) that do correspond exactly to the original tales they are representing. Conversely, there are some characters who die in the Broadway version but end up surviving in the film. Of course, there are still a few deaths, as there are in the stage version. And they aren’t sugar-coated either.

There's more to say, but I didn't want to reveal too much. If you've already seen the film, or you're just dying to know, I have listed a few points containing spoilers below. So this is a SPOILER ALERT!

I had mentioned how the Baker's wife and Cinderella's Prince are supposed to "have an affair" in the play, but in the film, they don't really do more than kiss each other a whole lot. Rapunzel does not bear any children. There is not even a hint that she became pregnant - but this is what I expected from Disney, especially with a PG rating. Also, she dies in the stage version, but that's not shown or even implied here. We actually don't even get to see what becomes of her after she flees the Witch's grasp on her Prince's horse. She's not a part of the film's big finale. I guess we are meant to assume that hers was a "Happily Ever After." As for the implied gore - eyes are, in fact, gouged out - Rapunzel's Prince's, and the Stepsisters', to be exact. The Sisters also get their heels and toes cut off, as per the original tale. And the Baker (not a woodcutter) slices open the wolf's stomach to free Little Red and her Grandmother. But like I said, not more than a drop of blood or two is actually shown on screen.

All in all, it was a rare treat to see the fairy tales portrayed this way on the big screen, a nice change from your typical sugary-sweet Disney fairy tale (though I do enjoy those). I have to commend Disney on how it all turned out. Now all there's left to do is to go see Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella!
Have you seen Into the Woods, and what did you think? Did you gush over Miss Streep, or were you unimpressed? Also, what did you think of Depp’s wolf costume? Let us know with a comment!

Bio: Nora writes, "I have been a lover of creative writing and fairy tales for basically my entire life! I graduated Cum Laude from Rutgers where I completed a minor in English, with a focus in Creative Writing and Shakespeare (I majored in Psychology)."

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Icelandic Live-Action Beast Kickstarter Project, Check It Out

Blind Hummingbird Productions just released the trailer for Beast, a darker take on the classic fairy tale, shot entirely in Iceland.
“This is a feminine take on the hero’s journey,” says writer/director Max Gold. “Bell’s psychological journey inward is as much a focus as her harrowing quest through the Icelandic wilderness. Bell is fleeing a brutal past; she is contending with a lot of inner demons. She is a deeply flawed character and we don’t shy away from putting those flaws up on screen, but she is also extremely willful. Her will and courage ultimately carry her through.”
Beast stars Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, aka THE MOUNTAIN from HBO’s Game of Thrones alongside a completely Icelandic cast.
“Casting the film entirely Icelandic maintains an integrity of place that bleeds through the screen. Rather than rely on special effects, my visual team emphasizes the stunning landscape to catapult the audience head-on into this magic world.”
Bell is played by newcomer Berta Andrea and Beast is played by Icelandic model Ingi Hrafn. The film is shot by Cannes-showcased cinematographer, Ed Wu. Production Designer: Haisu Wang (Steven Spielberg’s The Pacific) Costume Designer: Ella Reynis (Game of Thrones).
Beast is written and directed by Max Gold, whose previous credits include the Golden Globe-nominated Arbitrage (2012). Gold’s commercials, short films and video art installations have received numerous accolades and international festival attention.

If you like what you see, please support Beast on Kickstarter.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Around the World: Tall Tales in America, By Christina Ruth Johnson, Vintage Fairy Tale Sleuth

Happy Spring! The beginning of a brand new season calls for the beginning of something new and fun here on Enchanted Conversation. I am starting a journey around the world! We will take a peek into the fairy tales and folklore from our planet’s wide variety of countries and cultures. No need for a hot air balloon: just join Enchanted Conversation and let the adventuring begin.

I’m an American, so I figured, what better place to begin our Fairy Tale Grand Tour than in my own backyard? With the United States’ fairly young history, we don’t typically think of it as a place where fairy tales come from (leaving aside contemporary fiction). We don’t have tales like Perrault’s “Donkeyskin” with roots going back all the way to the Middle Ages. (See my previous post “The Constancy of Fairy Tales.” )

But this doesn’t mean that we lack for stories. They’re just a little different. Hero stories. Legends. Tall tales.

The Americas are also rife with extraordinary tales from their many native cultures--these stories are so varied and wonderful that they deserve an entire post (or two, or three) of their own, so I will not discuss them now (definitely later!).

I grew up on the so-called “tall tales.” For example: Johnny Appleseed, who planted apple trees wherever he went as he traveled across the U.S. making friends with every person and animal he met. He wore a coffee sack as a shirt and a cooking pot as a hat. We learned the Johnny Appleseed song in pre-school, and I can still sing it off the top of my head. What I only just discovered while writing this post is that the original song comes from a Disney animated short, first aired in 1948 on Melody Time.

Johnny Appleseed is based on an actual man, Jonathan Chapman, born in 1775, who trekked across the Midwest planting apple trees in areas he deemed appropriate. He planted one nursery of trees in Fort Wayne, Indiana, using it as a home base for his journeys. The city has a festival in his honor every year.

A second tall tale hero, John Henry, is also supposedly based on an actual historical figure. An African-American steel driver, John Henry is the strongest and best driller for the railroad and is pitted against a new drilling machine. In a timed contest, he out-drills the machine, but his victory comes at the expense of his life. In the late 1920s and early 30s, a man named Guy B. Johnson researched the story’s origin and tracked down potential witnesses to the great contest. He found a man, Neal Miller, who claimed to have seen John Henry beat the drill at Big Bend Tunnel in West Virginia. According to Miller, the contest had lasted for more than a day, and Henry had not rested enough. Henry became ill and later died from his exertions. Whether this account is true or not, Johnson still received letters from across the United States from people who knew different versions of stories or songs about Henry and who claimed to have known him or to know someone who had known him.

Here's a song:
Here's a statue of John Henry on an overlook above the Big Bend Tunnel, WV, below:

 Our final tall tale hero of this post is Paul Bunyan. Of all the tall tales, his are the closest to being “fairy” stories with his supernatural size and impossibly blue ox companion. An incredible number of tales about Bunyan abound, most to do with extraordinary feats of strength and/or cleverness within the logging profession. The tales likely existed orally for decades among North American lumberjacks before they were recorded in print in the early 1900s. In 1914, an advertizing agency latched onto Paul Bunyan for commercial purposes, increasing his height from over-large to truly gargantuan and naming his blue ox Babe. You can read stories about Bunyan in this collection from the University of Wisconsin.

Statue of Paul Bunyan and his ox in Bemidji, MN, below.

Advertisement featuring William Laughead’s mustachioed Paul Bunyan, 1931, below:

American tall tales might not belong in the same category as European fairy tales, but they have a legitimacy of their own. John Henry may have been an actual man (and who knows, Paul Bunyan may have started that way, too--the name had to come from somewhere!) but both tales grew from strong oral traditions before spreading to a wider audience through print, song, and film. (The story of Johnny Appleseed gained popularity in this way as well, though it remains more of a hero story or legend than a folktale due to its strong connection to the original Jonathan Chapman.) They have been passed down through the generations to the point that their true origins are obscured but their simple truths, morals, and inspiration live on. America’s very own fairy tales.

Let me know in the comments what regions’ and cultures’ fairy tales and folklore you want to learn about in our travels!

Christina Ruth Johnson has her M.A. in Art History with a research focus on the ancient Mediterranean. She is currently working as a teacher and freelance writer. Her other great love is fantasy literature and folklore from ancient times to present day.

References & Further Reading:
Guy B. Johnson, “First Hero of Negro Folk Lore,” Modesto Bee and News-Herald (22 February 1930).
J.E. Rockwell, “Some Lumberjack Myths,” The Outer’s Book (February 1910): 157-160.
“Johnny Appleseed,” America’s Library.
“Paul Bunyan: America’s Best Known Folk Hero,” Wisconsin Historical Society.

Friday, March 6, 2015

CLOSED Submissions Call: Frozen Fairy Tales

No more submissions are being accepted!!

In the bleak midwinter, the call of fairy tales can be especially irresistible. After all, fairy tales both take us out of our humdrum world and into the possibilities of what can be--or maybe even is. A fairy tale read in winter can help us dream through the the cold days and nights.

Yet, surprisingly few fairy tales are specifically set in winter. With Frozen Fairy Tales, we're hoping to remedy that.
In a joint venture between World Weaver Press and Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine, we're opening up to submissions for a fairy tale collection set in winter. Details are below.

Edit: This collection is aimed at an audience of 15 or older in age. It will not be a children's publication.

1) You must be 18 or older to submit.
2) Submissions must be in English, but submissions from all over the world are most welcome.
3) No stories connected to the movie Frozen will be considered. It's a great movie, but this anthology is not at all about that film.
4) Stories centered on winter holidays are most welcome, but stories do not need to be holiday focused. Krampus-themed stories will be considered, but please do not resubmit stories that were previously submitted for the Krampusnatch collection.
5) A sense of winter and its perils and possibilities must be part your story.
6) This is a fairy tale collection, which means the sensibility of the stories should evoke classic fairy tales. You do not need to retell famous fairy tales reset in winter, but you may. 
Nonetheless, the classics have been retold a lot lately, so fresher takes with more originality stand a better chance of being selected, as do retellings of obscure fairy tales. But think winter!
7) Please, no erotica, hard-core horror or sci-fi.
8) Open submission period: March 6-May 15, 2015.
9) Length: Under 10,000 words.
10) Submission method: Email cover letter and story to enchantedconversation [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject line “Frozen Fairy Tales Anthology – story title.” Cover letter should contain your name, contact info, story’s title, and approximate word count; no need to summarize the story, let it speak for itself. Then paste the full story into the body of the email following your letter. Please make it very clear where paragraphs break — this means if your email doesn’t let you indent paragraphs, you’ll need to put an extra space between each paragraph for submission purposes. Do not send unrequested attachments.
Simultaneous submissions = okay. Multiple submissions = no.
11) Rights and compensation: Payment: $20. All contributors will receive a paperback copy of the anthology.
We are seeking first world rights in English and exclusive rights to publish in print and electronic format for twelve months after publication date after which publisher retains nonexclusive right to continue to publish for a term. No reprints will be considered. That means only previously unpublished works will be considered.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Ten Fingers Touching Interview, By Brita Long, Fairy Tale Book Reviewer

I recently had the pleasure of reading Ten Fingers Touching, the debut novella by Ellen Roth.  While I received a hardcover copy in exchange for my review, all opinions are my own.

Roth has written a romantic fairy tale for women reminiscent of the classic stories we read and loved as children.

The love story between Martak and Marianna is set against an epic battle between Good and Evil, much like the romances in ancient Greek myths.

Roth’s writing is beautiful and poetic. I absolutely love her descriptions of the characters and the settings. The only writing that feels a little awkward are the love scenes between Martak and Marianna.

I personally don’t see the point of trying to write a steamy love scene with only flowery euphemisms. Roth’s book stands out from other romances due to its breathtaking illustrations. John Blumen created all the artwork for the cover and the chapters. The artwork really helped bring the book alive.

Roth was kind enough to answer a few of my questions to share with the readers of Enchanted Conversation! Below is my interview with her.

Who are your favorite authors and artists? Did any of them inspire Ten Fingers Touching in some way?

 When I was a child, I was given a large fairy tale book with beautiful illustrations. It was filled with original fairy tales that were French, German, Danish, Russian and Japanese translated by Marie Ponsot and illustrated by Adrienne Segur. I loved this book as a child, and I cherish it as an adult. It was inscribed "To Princess Ellen on her 9th birthday with fond wishes for many, many hours of reading and dreaming." I lived inside this book and savored every story and every illustration. It was the most beautiful thing I owned and it provided me with endless hours of pleasure.

While I loved all the stories, I was especially drawn to those by Hans Christian Andersen so I would say that he is my favorite author!

I was an art major in college. I have an MFA in museology (museum studies) and early in my career, I was an art therapist, so art and creativity have always been an important part of my life. I enjoy and appreciate a range of artistic styles, but I'm awed by the works of the 17th-century Dutch masters and in particular, Jan Vermeer. I love his realism, attention to detail and dramatic use of light in genre paintings which are the same characteristics that drew me to John Blumen's digital illustrations of characters in imaginary worlds.

My love of fairy tales was inspired by great story tellers like Hans Christian Andersen. But my goal in creating Ten Fingers Touching was to write a fairy tale for grownups that was beautifully illustrated like a children's book, i.e., a storybook for adults.

Which fairy tale do you love most? Do you like any of the modern twists or adaptations on it?

My favorite fairy tale is "The Princess and the Pea" by Hans Christian Andersen. I have read several versions of it but there is nothing like the original story by the original author...pure, simple and elegant.

When did you first start writing Ten Fingers Touching? How long did it take from the initial spark to the beautiful published book today?

I started writing it many years ago, but I never had the time to write the story that I really wanted to tell because, at the same time, I was growing my company. All my energy and creativity was going into building a successful business. In 2012, I downsized my company in order to carve out more personal time for myself. Between 2012 and December 9, 2014, I wrote and published the book. I worked with an editor, illustrator, professional reader, grammarian; my book club, who were test readers; my family, who also provided critiques; and a custom printer to ensure that the paper was high quality, the illustrations retained their luscious colors and luminosity, and that the dust jacket felt smooth and sensuous. I wanted to write a story and, at the same time, create a work of art. The finished product is a dream come true!

The illustrations for Ten Fingers Touching are absolutely stunning. How well did John Blumen bring your vision to life? Has his art affected how you imagine your own characters?

John is a master illustrator, and he breathed life into the characters as I imagined them in my head. We worked very closely together engaging the following process: 

He read the book, and then we discussed which chapters would have full illustrations and which would have spot illustrations.

He would do a drawing, and then we discussed it in great detail.

Then he tweaked the illustration based on my suggestions for changes.

We went through this process multiple times for the cover and each illustration. But there were also two instances when I loved aspects of his illustrations so much that I tweaked the text to conform to the image!  It was a wonderful collaborative process and I am so grateful for his talent.

I know you just published Ten Fingers Touching, but can your readers expect more from you? Have you considered writing another novella or a collection of short stories set in the same universe?

Thank you for your kind words. It is a great compliment when a reader seeks more. My next goal is to write the screen play! I would like to see Ten Fingers Touching made into a movie, and I think it lends itself to the big screen. When I wrote the story, I pictured every scene. In fact, that's how I write. I see the image in my head, and then I describe it in words as opposed to writing words that create images!

 I also have a great idea for a children's book that I would like to develop, and additionally, I'm considering writing a story where the main character is loosely based on my mother, who passed away seven years ago. 

So, at the moment, I'm not certain about a sequel for Ten Fingers Touching! One step at a time!

I’m so grateful Roth took the time to answer my questions for my fellow fairy tale enthusiasts. If you’re looking for a new romance unlike any other, check out Ten Fingers Touching by Ellen Roth.
Brita Long

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Book of Newly Discovered Fairy Tales is Out Feb. 24

I've already preorderd my copy! The book  is called The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales. The English translation was done by the always excellent Maria Tatar.

You can read an interview with Tatar about the book by copying and pasting this link into your search bar: