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Wayne State University Press

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Published: August 2004
ISBN: 9780814330302
Pages: 288 Size: 6 x 9
Illustrations: 5 b&w illus.
Published: August 2004
ISBN: 9780814340820

Fairy Tales and Feminism is a rich and readable book that covers a broad spectrum in time and space.

— International Research Society for Children’s Literature

In the 1970s, feminists focused critical attention on fairy tales and broke the spell that had enchanted readers for centuries. By exposing the role of fairy tales in the cultural struggle over gender, feminism transformed fairy-tale studies and sparked a debate that would change the way society thinks about fairy tales and the words "happily ever after." Now, after three decades of provocative criticism and controversy, this book reevaluates the feminist critique of fairy tales.

The eleven essays within Fairy Tales and Feminism challenge and rethink conventional wisdom about the fairy-tale heroine and offer new insights into the tales produced by female writers and storytellers. Resisting a one-dimensional view of the woman-centered fairy tale, each essay reveals ambiguities in female-authored tales and the remarkable potential of classical tales to elicit unexpected responses from women. Exploring new texts and contexts, Fairy Tales and Feminism reaches out beyond the national and cultural boundaries that have limited our understanding of the fairy tale. The authors reconsider the fairy tale in French, German, and Anglo-American contexts and also engage African, Indian Ocean, Iberian, Latin American, Indo-Anglian, and South Asian diasporic texts. Also considered within this volume is how film, television, advertising, and the Internet test the fairy tale's boundaries and its traditional authority in defining gender.

From the Middle Ages to the postmodern age-from the French fabliau to Hollywood's Ever After and television's Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?-the essays assembled here cover a broad range of topics that map new territory for fairy-tale studies. Framed by a critical survey of feminist fairy-tale scholarship and an extensive bibliography-the most comprehensive listing of women-centered fairy-tale research ever assembled-Fairy Tales and Feminism is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the intersection of fairy tales and feminism.

Donald Haase is chair of the Department of German and Slavic Studies at Wayne State University. He is editor of The Reception of Grimm's Fairy Tales: Responses, Reactions, Revisions and general editor of Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies.

Contributors Include:
Cristina Bacchilega, Patricia Anne Odber de Baubeta, Jeannine Blackwell, Ruth B. Bottigheimer, Elizabeth Wanning Harries, Fiona Mackintosh, Cathy Lynn Preston, Lewis C. Seifert, Kay Stone

This impressively wide-ranging collection of essays builds on the growing recognition by feminist critics of the major role that fairy tales have played in the formation of a global 'literature of their own.' By resituating texts and national traditions in a cross-cultural framework, this book valuably foregrounds the complexity of the fairy tale's pervasive engagement with gender."

– U. C. Knoepflmacher, Princeton University

Fairy Tales and Feminism is the first book since the 1980s to present a comprehensive approach toward analyzing the impact of feminism on all aspects of the literary fairy tale. . . . This book will have a great reception.

– Jack Zipes, University of Minnesota

Fairy Tales and Feminism is a rich and readable book that covers a broad spectrum in time and space. Several appearances of the fairy tale occur in a balanced equilibrium, from seventeenth-century story-tellers to the early twenty-first-century TV shows. You do not have to be a member of the women's movement to find the articles exciting and inspiring, but the book does prove that no critical paradigm has provided so many interesting and influential insights into the fairy tales as feminism.

– International Research Society for Childrens Literature

The essays in Fairy Tales and Feminism do offer some new and compelling reinterpretations.

– Journal of American Folklore

Haase's overview of 'Feminist Fairy-Tale Scholarship' is historical and critical at once. It also functions as a helpful tool for all those who wish to understand the development of feminist fairytale research. Haase highlights the issue of gender and socialization, female image, women writers and the fairytale, and more. The extensive bibliography at the end of the book is a great resource for students and scholars in the field, as it references the cornerstone of feminist fairytale research."

– Journal of Folklore Research