How to Fracture a Fairy Tale
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How to Fracture a Fairy Tale

3.61 (235 ratings by Goodreads)
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"This collection is Jane Yolen at her best. This is magic."--Patricia C. Wrede, author of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles Fantasy icon Jane Yolen (The Devil's Arithmetic, Briar Rose, Sister Emily's Lightship) is adored by generations of readers of all ages. Now she triumphantly returns with this inspired gathering of fractured fairy tales and legends. Yolen breaks open the classics to reveal their crystalline secrets: a philosophical bridge that misses its troll, a spinner of straw as a falsely accused moneylender, the villainous wolf adjusting poorly to retirement. Each of these offerings features a new author note and original poem, illuminating tales that are old, new, and brilliantly refined.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 27.94mm | 317.51g
  • United States
  • English
  • 1616963069
  • 9781616963064
  • 658,175

Table of contents

Stories
"Snow in Summer"
"The Bridge's Complaint"
"The Moon Ribbon"
"Godmother Death"
"Happy Dens or A Day in the Old Wolves' Home"
"Granny Rumple"
"One Ox, Two Ox, Three Ox, and the Dragon King"
"Brother Hart"
"Sun/Flight"
"Slipping Sideways Through Eternity"
"The Foxwife"
"The Faery Flag"
"One Old Man, with Seals"
"Sleeping Ugly"
"The Undine"
"Great-Grandfather Dragon's Tale"
"Green Plague"
"The Unicorn and the Pool"
"The Golden Balls"
"Sister Death"
"Sule Skerry"
"Once A Good Man"
"Allerleirauh"
"The Gwynhfar"
"Cinder Elephant"
"Mama Gone"
"The Woman Who Loved A Bear"
"Wrestling with Angels"

Poems
"The Thing About Fairy Tales" / "Prince Ever After" / "Troll Maiden on the Bridge" / "Learning from Those Other Princesses" / "Stone Hand in Stone Hand: Norvelt Cemetery" / "Once Upon A Wolf" / "Spinning Straw" / "`Story,'" the Old Man Said" / "Green Children" / "Icarus Fall" / "Ovens" / "Foxwife" / "Carrying the Flag of Faery" / "On Meeting A God" / "Old Woman by the Well" / "Warning from the Undine" / "St. George's Sword and Word" / "To Be Paid" / "Rhinoceros" / "Frog Meet Princess" / "The Keening Woman" / "When I Was A Selchie" / "What Do We Need of Heaven" / "Cinderella in the Ashes" / "Not That Princess"
Cinder Elephant / "Fat Is Not A Fairy Tale" / "The Vampire Regrets" / "Marrying the Bear" / "Jacob's Regret"
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Review quote

Praise for How To Fracture a Fairy Tale "Readers will find most of these stories relatable and powerful in their messages, and Yolen's notes about each work's origin are so interesting that they're worth rereading in their own right."
--Publishers Weekly

"A pioneer of the modern fairy tale retelling, Yolen's work is foundational. This latest collection records the template on which the genre was built."
--Foreword

"Fans will be delighted with the story notes and poems that cap off her fantastic collection of fairy-tale retellings and fractured legends."
--Booklist

"Every page was a treat to read."
--The Book Lover's Boudoir

"A master storyteller at her best. I've been a fan of Jane Yolen and fractured fairytales for years and this collection doesn't disappoint."
--Chanda Hahn, New York Times bestselling author of Reign (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale)

"Yolen's writing bone-deep sort of magical, where you find yourself unsure where the original fairytale ends and her interpretation begins. These stories got into my skin, and my head, and my heart--the perfect blend of beautiful and frightening."
--Jackson Pearce, author of Cold Spell and Sisters Red

"This collection is Jane Yolen at her best, telling stories you've never seen before but have known all your life, and stories as familiar as your left hand that you barely recognize, spun from shadows and moonlight and breathed through silvered glass. This is magic."
--Patricia C. Wrede, author of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles

"Yolen's deftly-flowing prose highlights each unique perspective or imaginative speculation. Her tales, once fractured, don't splinter--they sparkle."
--Alex Flinn, author of Beastly and Beheld

"How to Fracture a Fairy Tale is a fascinating exploration of how old stories we all think we know can become fresh and new and stunning in the hands of the masterful Jane Yolen. So many of Yolen's stories here are like origami--with expert snips and twists and turns, she transforms the ordinary into fantastic art. This book can be read just for sheer pleasure or as a study for other writers in what is possible.
--Margaret Peterson Haddix, author of The Missing series and The Shadow Children series

"No one can spin a tale as magical as Jane Yolen, full of beauty and wonder, and more than a few sharp thorns!"
--Jessica Day George, author of the Rose Legacy series and the Dragon Slippers trilogy

"Ever the master storyteller, Jane Yolen weaves and spins and fractures her way through a far-ranging, culturally diverse array of fairy-tales.
Ranging from the comic (various famous fairy tale wolves kvetching in an Old Wolves Home) to the disturbing (a take on Cinderella involving incest) to the poetic (a lovely version of the Native American tale 'The Woman Who Loved a Bear'), each tale is a finely crafted gemstone. Readers will be filled with wonder and delight, pain and joy, and may even be inspired to try their own hand at fracturing a fairy tale.
I particularly loved Yolen's explanatory 'How I Fractured These Stories' section at the end, identifying the origin tale, each one accompanied by a luminous poem."
--Edith Pattou, author of West and East

"Yolen is a master of the fairy tale form-you'll find her writing style both enchanting and enticing as you wind through these modern adaptations to discover her unique perspective. The collection is a masterpiece of fairy tale storytelling."
--Reviews and Robots

"Overall, this was quite an eclectic collection, and it was wonderful "catching up" with Ms. Yolen again. Highly recommended for fans of fairy tale retellings!"
--Llama Reads Books

"5/5 stars. If you enjoy fairy tales and would want to read them in a different perspective then this book is definitely for you."
--Things in Her Head

"Deeply moving and poignant reimaginings of the tales many of us know and love."
--Reader Fox and a Box of Books

"This collection of fractured fairy tales is a must-read for any lover of folklore. All of the stories are beautiful in their own way, and some are truly amazing. If you like fairy tales, especially retellings of them, you need to read this book."
--Hazel G. Evans

"Yolen takes well-known fairy tales and splits them apart, sometimes leaving them still quite familiar and other times shining a light from an unfamiliar angle to reveal new truths and possibilities"
--Margo Kelly, author of Unlocked

"Last year I read and reviewed The Emerald Circus and fell in love with Jane Yolen's storytelling. Having just closed the back cover on How to Fracture a Fairy Tale I can't help but wonder how such levels of creativity are possible."
--Infinite Text

"Yolen is a master of the fairy tale form - you'll find her writing style both enchanting and enticing as you wind through these modern adaptations to discover her unique perspective. The collection is a masterpiece of fairy tale storytelling, one that should be read by lovers of fairy tales and those new to the genre."
--Reviews and Robots

"Yolen has long been a major voice in children's literature, and this story collection offers a chance to meld fairy tales with fantasy with the same brilliance of The Emerald Circus."
--NerdMuch

"Jane Yolen has an impressive array of devices in her writer's toolbox; she truly is a master of her craft."
--Way Too Fantasy

Praise for Jane Yolen

"The Hans Christian Andersen of America"
--Newsweek

"The Aesop of the twentieth century"
--The New York Times

"Jane Yolen is a gem in the diadem of science fiction and fantasy."
--Analog

Praise for The Emerald Circus

"A brilliant example of short-form storytelling by one of the treasures of the science fiction community."
--Brandon Sanderson, New York Times bestselling author of Mistborn

[STARRED REVIEW] "After more than a decade, Yolen (Briar Rose; Sister Emily's Starship and Other Stories) returns with 16 stories that take readers sideways and upside down through beloved fairy tales and classic tales such as Peter Pan and The Wizard of Oz, while also reimagining the lives of famous storytellers such as Hans Christian Anderson, Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickinson. Verdict: These delightful retellings of favorite stories will captivate newcomers and fans of Yolen as she once again delivers the magic, humor, and lovely prose that has attracted readers for years."
--Library Journal, starred review

[STARRED REVIEW] "VERDICT: These highly entertaining retellings are perfect for teens fans of fairy tales and classic literature, though they are easily enjoyed without any background knowledge."
--School Library Journal

"Ever the wordsmith, Yolen dazzles with her first short story collection for adults in years."
--Booklist

"An impressive overview of the author's breadth and career, this collection will appeal to the author's existing devotees--or to anyone who has ever thought that "happily ever after" left too many questions."
--Kirkus

"Jane Yolen's [The] Emerald Circus may be my favorite book of the year, period, with apologies to Jeff Vandermeer's Borne. Many years ago, when I had my own blog, I wrote a post celebrating the versatility of Yolen--one of the few authors who can write top-shelf books at any age level. [The] Emerald Circus is a perfect example of her fluid but rock-solid prose."
--Adult Books for Teens, School Library Journal

"Jane Yolen's The Emerald Circus is full of marvels. From Snow Queen to spaceship, The Emerald Circus is a delight."
--Patricia A. McKillip, author of the Riddle-Master trilogy and The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

"Jane Yolen facets her glittering stories with the craft of a master jeweller. Everything she writes, including The Emerald Circus, is original and timeless, deliciously creepy and disturbingly lovely."
--Elizabeth Wein, author of Code Name Verity

"In this masterful collection, Jane Yolen draws upon myth, fairy tales, history, poetry, and children's classics from Alice to Oz to fashion new tales from the bones of the old. There is simply no better storyteller working in the fantasy field today. She's a national treasure."
--Terri Windling, author of The Wood Wife and The Essential Bordertown
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About Jane Yolen

Beloved fantasy legend Jane Yolen published her 365th book in 2018. Her work includes children's fiction, poetry, short stories, graphic novels, nonfiction, fantasy, and science fiction. Her publications include Owl Moon, The Devil's Arithmetic, Briar Rose, Sister Emily's Starship, The Emerald Circus, and Sister Light, Sister Dark. Among her many honors are the Caldecott and Christopher Medals, multiple Nebula, World Fantasy, Mythopoeic, Golden Kite, and Jewish Book awards; as well as the World Fantasy Association's Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Science Fiction Poetry Grand Master Award. Yolen is also a teacher of writing and a book reviewer. She lives in Western Massachusetts and St. Andrew, Scotland.
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Rating details

235 ratings
3.61 out of 5 stars
5 17% (39)
4 40% (95)
3 34% (80)
2 6% (13)
1 3% (8)
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