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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Fairy tales and their exaggerated characters, from the "evil stepmother" to the "virginal bride, " have been a resonant chord throughout Western culture, providing provocative challenges to and mirrors of women's complex sense of themselves - and the expectations of the world around them. In Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Kate Bernheimer brings together twenty-four of our foremost contemporary women writers to discuss, in poetic narratives, evocative personal histories, and penetrating essays, how the fairy tales we all grew up with - from "Cinderella" and "Little Red Riding Hood" to "Bluebeard" and "The Princess and the Pea" - have affected their emotional lives, their work, and the culture they live in. For some of the writers, fairy tales were their first formative experience of literature, and several turned to fairy tales in creating their own fiction as adults. Others rebelled utterly at the cultural stereotypes and the roles assigned to women in these tales, and in their essays explore the impact such fairy tales have had on our mores and thinking.
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About the Author

Kate Bernheimer was recently the George Bennett Fellow in Creative Writing at Phillips Exeter Academy. She is currently writing a novel, The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold. She grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, and now lives in Portland, Oregon.

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