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Book Review: All Kinds of Fur by Margaret Yocom

Updated: Jul 1, 2023


It’s no wonder there is no Disney version of “All Kinds of Fur”; it’s one of the Grimms’ grimmer tales. While All Kinds of Fur (Allerleirauh, in German) has much in common with Cinderella (meeting a prince at a series of balls, magical gowns, recognition by an item), the beginning is far creepier than the neglect the girl in the glass slippers experiences. Instead of a wicked stepmother, Allerleirauh has a father who wants to marry her and make her his queen. In a desperate bid to keep the king’s unnatural desires at bay, the princess requires a number of impossible wedding gifts (three celestial gowns and a cloak pieced together from a thousand bits of fur). When he provides the garments, she must flee, using the fur cloak as a grisly disguise.

“All Kinds of Fur” is a tale that begs for a feminist, trauma-informed interpretation, and Margaret Yocom delivers just that in her stunning erasure poetry retelling, KIN S FUR. Before creating these poems, Yocom made her own English translation of the German “Allerleirauh” to work from, uncovering some important but often-missed details along the way. This new translation makes up the grayed-out backdrop, and each bolded poem lifts phrases, words, and even lone letters from the Grimms’ tale.

Yocom’s self-described aim in using erasure poetry was to create a dialogue between the third person narrative by the Brothers Grimm and All Kinds of Fur herself. The result is astonishing, breathing life into All KINdS of FUR and giving her a voice of her own. Yocom’s erasure poetry adds a unique element of participation, creating a puzzle for the reader to solve as they move between the two narrators. The audience reads not between the lines, but within them, unearthing the heroine’s experience and discovering her journey for themselves. Simultaneously playful and deadly serious, KIN S FUR is a moving exploration of trauma, identity, agency, and healing.

For additional photos of and information about KIN S FUR, visit: http://margaretyocom.com/

(it is also for sale at Amazon)


Citation for the text photo: Yocom, M. (2018). All kinds of fur: Allerleirauh, Cinderella: Erasure Poems & New Translation of a tale from the brothers grimm. Deerbrook Editions.

Lissa Sloan is the author of Glass and Feathers, a novel that tells the story of Cinderella after the “happily ever after.” The Enchanted Press will publish it next February.


1 comentario


Gypsy Thornton
Gypsy Thornton
29 jun 2023

This is an intriguing book! When I first heard about it, it took me a while to understand what the book was, and how it worked. It seemed like an interesting idea but I wasn't sure how it worked for the reader. Lissa has explained it so clearly, I wish this was the first review I read. I've been in the fence about whether it's worth investing in, and Lissa's review has me deciding "yes it is". Thank you for this.

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