Presents a collection of short stories that sheds new light on the lives of women in works exploring such themes as magic, dreams, ritual, the supernatural, the accidents of history, and oppression
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English writer Sara Maitland tried to give a feminist slant to theology in her non-fiction work A Big-Enough God. In this collection of short stories, she does the same for a broad range of cultural narratives--from mythology, fable, and scripture to history, journalism, and fiction. Drawing inspiration from these sources, she has rewritten the stories to bring out the contribution and the position of their female characters, often marginalized in the original. So, for example, in "Siren's Song" the sirens on the reef become the focus, not the sailors they lure to their deaths in revenge for a rape. In the title story, the fairy tale of "Hansel and Gretel" inspires a story with the witch at the center, no longer a villain but a safe abortion provider and fertility expert.From Kirkus Reviews:
The metaphysics of feminism and the baroque influence of the late Angela Carter are weighty presences in this generally accomplished collection of 30 stories by British author Maitland (Ancestral Truths, 1994), etc. A suave, amused narrative voice--sometimes first-person, sometimes omniscient, unafraid to address the reader directly--is a virtual constant in these witty, skillfully woven tales, whose variety and vitality are compromised chiefly by a recurring (and off-putting) impression of smugness. Several contemporary pieces, which tend to focus on women's erotic, marital, or maternal dilemmas, include ``The Loveliness of the Long-Distance Runner,'' ``The Eighth Planet,'' and the amusingly grisly ``Apple Picking.'' The many stories inspired by history or legend are stronger, with several based on Greek myths, others on European folk tales: ``Cassandra'' explains how its title character received the ``gift'' of prophecy from her lover Apollo; the title piece presents the witch from ``Hansel and Gretel'' as a conscientious midwife and abortionist; and ``The Wicked Stepmother's Lament'' memorably justifies that character's mistreatment of Cinderella (``I just wanted her . . . to see that life is not all sweetness and light . . . that fairy godmothers are unreliable . . . and that even the most silvery of princes soon goes out hunting and fighting and drinking and whoring''). If Maitland's weaker tales display a jarring archness, her better ones may be said to succeed precisely because they embrace a variety of viewpoints and allow her readers room for choice among them. ``An Edwardian Tableau,'' for example, which features superbly contrived period language, reveals the confusion of conflicting emotions in the suffragist movement. Even better is ``The Burning Times,'' a complex and powerful portrayal of awakening lesbianism set in Europe during the Middle Ages and capped by a truly magnificent and disturbing final sentence. Strong and challenging work from a highly skilled writer who, apart from a tendency toward argumentative stridency, may be counted among the best of her generation. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Descripción Henry Holt & Co, 1996. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0805044124
Descripción Henry Holt & Co, 1996. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0805044124
Descripción Henry Holt & Co, 1996. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110805044124