Friday, September 23, 2005

A Modern Fairy Tale

I'm currently reading (for pleasure) The Oxford Book of Modern Fairy Tales edited by Alison Lurie. Included amongst the Fairy Tales is Ursula Le Guin's 'The Wife's Tale' and I have to say that I thought it was brilliant. I'm not going to go into too much detail because that would spoil it and then there would be no point in reading it, and I want to encourage everyone to read it. You'll also find it included in Le Guin's short story collection The Compass Rose. The story has a real twist in the tale and I didn't foresee the end at all, although there's a hint in the tale...

The other thing I wanted to comment on about the Oxford Book, is Maxfield Parrish's painting that has been on the cover of the hardback. It is called 'The Reluctant Dragon' and was painted for Kenneth Grahame's story of the same title (which is included in this collection). Am I the only person who thinks this dragon looks female ? I confess I've not read the Grahame story yet, so I've no idea if it is a female dragon, but I have to say that this is the first time I've seen such a female-looking dragon !

2 comments:

Susan said...

Michele, your post has piqued my curiosity about the Oxford fairy tale book, and I've now decided it's something I must have! Sometimes I find these things at book sales and such. I got a fabulous Riverside guide to children's lit for 6 dollars at a library sale last spring.

Michele said...

Oh good ! I'm glad that I got someone curious enough to go looking for the book... This tale of Ursula Le Guin's is brilliantly done - and I've been enjoying dipping into the collection at intervals to read some of the others too... I also enjoyed Grahame's story 'The Reluctant Dragon' very much... It reminded me of Terry Pratchett's sense of humour...