"A charming book about enchantment, a profound book about fairy tales."—John Updike, The New York Times Book Review
Bruno Bettelheim was one of the great child psychologists of the twentieth century and perhaps none of his books has been more influential than this revelatory study of fairy tales and their universal importance in understanding childhood development.
Analyzing a wide range of traditional stories, from the tales of Sindbad to “The Three Little Pigs,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and “The Sleeping Beauty,” Bettelheim shows how the fantastical, sometimes cruel, but always deeply significant narrative strands of the classic fairy tales can aid in our greatest human task, that of finding meaning for one’s life.
Fairy tales are one of the most enduring forms of literature, their plots retold and characters reimagined for centuries. In this elegant and thought-provoking collection of original essays, Kate Bernheimer brings together twenty-eight leading women writers to discuss how these stories helped shape their imaginations, their craft, and our culture. In poetic narratives, personal histories, and penetrating commentary, the assembled authors bare their soul and challenge received wisdom. Eclectic and wide-ranging, Mirror, Mirror on the Wall is essential reading for anyone who has ever been bewitched by the strange and fanciful realm of fairy tales.
Contributors include: Alice Adams, Julia Alvarez, Margaret Atwood, Ann Beattie, Rosellen Brown, A. S. Byatt, Kathryn Davis, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Deborah Eisenberg, Maria Flook, Patricia Foster, Vivian Gornick, Lucy Grealy, bell hooks, Fanny Howe, Fern Kupfer, Ursula K. Le Guin, Carole Maso, Jane Miller, Lydia Millet, Joyce Carol Oates, Connie Porter, Francine Prose, Linda Gray Sexton, Midori Snyder, Fay Weldon, Joy Williams, Terri Windling.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Hawaiian gods werelike great chiefs from far lands who visited among the people, entering their dailylives sometimes as humans or animals, sometimes taking residence in a stone orwooden idol. As years passed, the families of gods grew and included thetrickster Maui, who snared the sun, and fiery Pele of the volcano.
Ancient Hawaiian lived bythe animistic philosophy that assigned living souls to animals, trees, stones, stars, and clouds, as well as to humans. Religion and mythology were interwovenin Hawaiian culture; and local legends and genealogies were preserved in song, chant, and narrative.
Martha Beckwith was thefirst scholar to chart a path through the hundreds of books, articles, andlittle-known manuscripts that recorded the oral narratives of the Hawaiianpeople. Her book has become a classic work of folklore and ethnology, and thedefinitive treatment of Hawaiian mythology.
With an introduction by Katherine Luomala.