“The author of The Hours gives us a modern take on classic fairy tales, from a sympathetic Rumpelstiltskin to a jaded but content Steadfast Tin Soldier. Cunningham is not shy with his characters: he strips away sentimentality like an old Band-Aid, tearing through the romanticism that these tales usually inspire. Each story is less a retelling and more an unflinching dissection of human nature-our base needs and urges, our raw fears and joys. Shimizu's haunting illustrations give the book a classic feel, and make it a perfect addition to any fairy tale lover's collection.”
— Jennifer Oleinik (E), University Book Store, Seattle, WA
Fairy tales for our times from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours
Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Slate, and Bustle
A poisoned apple and a monkey's paw with the power to change fate; a girl whose extraordinarily long hair causes catastrophe; a man with one human arm and one swan's wing; and a house constructed of gumdrops and gingerbread. In A Wild Swan and Other Tales, the people and the talismans of lands far, far away--the mythic figures of our childhoods and the source of so much of our wonder--are transformed by Michael Cunningham into stories of sublime revelation.
Here are the moments that our fairy tales forgot or deliberately concealed: the years after a spell is broken, the rapturous instant of a miracle unexpectedly realized, or the fate of a prince only half cured of a curse. Reimagined by one of the most gifted storytellers of his generation, and exquisitely illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, rarely have our bedtime stories been this dark, this perverse, or this true.