Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold

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Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold

Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold

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Larrington provides the reader with a lengthy, remarkably insightful and informative introduction which includes the exploration of the title, Hag. Overall I feel this is a solid collection and would be perfect for a cosy, mildly spooky, unsettling read. I would rate it five stars if not for the inclusion of Eimear McBride’s The Tale Of Kathleen which is one of the smarmiest, look-how-cleverly-I’m-deconstructing-these-tropes stories I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading.

These stories are accessible to the unfamiliar but there is a reference to the original tales included as well. Grace and Maya are twins but they are completely different from each other except for the way they look. The authors focus on the various themes, ideas and evolutions in a woman's life, whether it is the bond between sisters, the loss of one's self, motherhood, inherited pain, burning desire, friendship and freedom.Her work spans journalism, audio, TV and curatorial projects for which she's received various accolades, including LGBTQI+ Broadcaster of The Year and Rising Star at Wow. Hag is an anthology of stories responding to classic folk tales from the British Isles, penned by some of the most exciting women writing in Britain and Ireland today. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, the Observer, the Guardian, the BBC and the Huffington Post amongst other publications.

Particular favourites were Sour Hall by Naomi Booth, Rosheen by Irenosen Okojie, The Panther's Tale by Mahsuda Snaith and The Holloway by Imogen Hermes Gowar. They are not a part of popular culture the way fairy stories from other countries have become, via the Brothers Grimm and, eventually, Disney. There is a vague whiff of her legacy to be found here - a few incidents of sensuality, a few moments that address female appetites – but overall Hag lacks the creativity, imagination and, quite frankly, the subtle yet pointed political engagement that make The Bloody Chamber so compelling. I just kept getting very annoyed with what I couldn't stop thinking about as ungrammatical sentences (either missing commas, or a sentence that really should have been more than one sentence). Also enjoyed that they original tales can be read in the back of the volume for context and comparison.This collection includes an introduction by Carolyne Larrington who is an author and professor of medieval literature at Oxford University. Now augmented by two further stories commissioned from Irenosen Okojie and Imogen Hermes Gowar, they are being issued in book form by Virago, the indefatigable publisher of books by women. Hag swarms with mermaids, boggarts and shape-shifters but it also explores the hopes and visceral dreads from which those creatures emerged in the human imagination.

I found the retellings both poignant and compelling as they held a much stronger contemporary critique.Perhaps the latter is no bad thing if it brings us a new and exciting story, but for the former to be worth including in the collection, there ought to be some kind of twist. Overall, I thought this was a decent collection, though there were some stories that definitely are catered to a specific audience.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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