A Wild Swan: And Other Tales (Paperback)
December '15 Indie Next List
“The author of The Hours gives us a modern take on classic fairy tales, from a sympathetic Rumpelstiltskin to a jaded but content Steadfast Tin Soldier. Cunningham is not shy with his characters: he strips away sentimentality like an old Band-Aid, tearing through the romanticism that these tales usually inspire. Each story is less a retelling and more an unflinching dissection of human nature-our base needs and urges, our raw fears and joys. Shimizu's haunting illustrations give the book a classic feel, and make it a perfect addition to any fairy tale lover's collection.”
— Jennifer Oleinik (E), University Book Store, Seattle, WA
Fairy tales for our times from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours
Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Slate, and Bustle
A poisoned apple and a monkey's paw with the power to change fate; a girl whose extraordinarily long hair causes catastrophe; a man with one human arm and one swan's wing; and a house constructed of gumdrops and gingerbread. In A Wild Swan and Other Tales, the people and the talismans of lands far, far away--the mythic figures of our childhoods and the source of so much of our wonder--are transformed by Michael Cunningham into stories of sublime revelation.
Here are the moments that our fairy tales forgot or deliberately concealed: the years after a spell is broken, the rapturous instant of a miracle unexpectedly realized, or the fate of a prince only half cured of a curse. Reimagined by one of the most gifted storytellers of his generation, and exquisitely illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, rarely have our bedtime stories been this dark, this perverse, or this true.
About the Author
MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM is the author of seven novels, including A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood, The Hours (winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize), Specimen Days, and The Snow Queen, as well as Land's End: A Walk in Provincetown. He lives in New York City and teaches at Yale University.YUKO SHIMIZU is a Japanese illustrator based in New York City whose work has been featured in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. Her self-titled monograph was published by Gestalten in 2011, and her drawings appeared in Barbed Wire Baseball, written by Marissa Moss. Shimizu teaches illustration at the School of Visual Arts.