Enchanting Stories: Fairy Tales Made New for Adults - An Exhibit

January 7, 2019 | TPL Staff

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Enchanted Forest

We invite you to  Enchanting Stories: Fairy Tales Made New for Adults - An Exhibit  at the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy

The exhibit features retellings (in books, from the 1980's to the present) of some of the best known fairy tales from the western European tradition, including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast, as well as a couple of "original" fairy tales beloved by all, Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz.

It runs from January 17 through May 18, 2019 (opened early) and is available for viewing during the regular opening hours of the Merril Collection

  • Monday to Friday 10 - 6
  • Saturday 9 - 5

It's free! All are welcome!

Once upon a time…..

Fairy Tales, with ancient roots going back centuries in folklore and fables, continue to enchant us today. We love them not only when we are young, but when we are all grown up, too! Adults were their intended audience, just as often as children. In an efficient and concise fashion, they were meant to teach us a lesson (or moral), and they did so using elements of the fantastic (even if there were no actual fairies). It is hardly surprising, then, that they have provided the inspiration for many modern and contemporary short story and novelistic adaptations by authors who write not for children, but for teens and adults.

The classic fairy tales with which many of us are most familiar are those written up by French, German, Danish and English storytellers in the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries. More recently, some authors, like Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland) and  L.Frank Baum (The Wizard of Oz), wrote stories which can be viewed as “original fairy tales”, even though they have since been reclassified as “fantasies”. Their stories have in their turn inspired their own retellings.

A preview 

We begin with adaptations of some famous tales by Charles Perrault (1628 -1703), Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve (1685 -1755), The Brothers Grimm (Jacob - 1785 - 1803; Wilhelm – 1786 – 1804), Robert Southey (1774 – 1843) and Hans Christian Andersen (1805 -1875). Then, after showcasing some examples of adaptations of Carroll and Baum, we conclude with a display of some of the many anthologies of the genre.

A Wolf at the DoorCruel Beauty

A wolf at the door: and other retold fairy tales.
Datlow, Ellen, editor.
Elwell, Tristan, cover artist.
New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000.

An anthology of stories including “A Wolf at the Door” by Nancy Farmer.

Cruel beauty.
Hodge, Rosamund, author.
Ansley, Elizabeth, cover artist.
New York: Balzer & Bray, 2014.

Nyx, betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom, Ignifex, has been training to kill him, but finds out that he’s not what he seems.

Stealing SnowHansel & Gretel

Stealing Snow.
Paige, Danielle, author.
Shappell, Ray, cover artist.
Stealing Snow vol.1.
New York: Bloomsbury, 2016. 

Snow has spent her 17 short years locked in Whittaker Psychiatric, even though she’s not mentally ill. She finds out about her mysterious past, and the kingdom of Algid.

Hansel & Gretel: a Toon graphic.
Gaiman, Neil, author.
Mattotti, Lorenzo, Illustrator.
New York: Toon Books, 2014. 

Hansel and Gretel are abandoned in the woods so that their mother and father might survive the famine. They are enslaved by an old woman in a gingerbread house, but escape and return home to find their mother dead and their father happy to see them.

 Snow and RoseClockwork Fairy Tales

Snow & Rose.
Martin, Emily Winfield author, illustrator, cover artist.
New York: Random House, 2017. 

Snow and Rose’s father has disappeared into the woods, and their mother is lost in sorrow.

Clockwork fairy tales: a collection of steampunk fables.
Antczak, Stephen L., editor.
Williams, Eric, cover artist.
New York, Roc, 2013.

An anthology of steampunk stories based on fairy tales.

Alice in SunderlandWicked

Alice in Sunderland.
Talbot, Bryan, author and illustrator.
Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse, 2007. 

The Sunderland Empire is a famous Edwardian palace of varieties in the city that, thirteen hundred years ago, was the greatest centre of Learning.

Wicked: the life and times of the wicked witch of the West: a novel.
Maguire, Gregory, author.
Smith, Douglas, cover artist.
he Wicked Years vol.1.
New York: HarperCollins, 1995. 

Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, is green-skinned, smart and prickly, as well as misunderstood. This is the story told from her side.


….and they lived happily ever after.

….or did they? 

Come visit us to find out.