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Little Red Riding Hood

Cinderella Back by Popular Demand With a New Twist

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Since 1697, when the French author Charles Perrault wrote the fairy tale Cinderella, the story has hung around Western culture.  Little girls are its biggest fans, swooning at the beautiful gowns, the handsome prince, and a dream come true. Now here comes Slipper, Hester Velmans’ first adult novel, starring Lucinda as the luckless heroine who chases happiness through seventeenth-century England and Europe.  Born to a woman who had secretly wed an aristocrat and died in childbirth, Lucinda is an orphan who spends her childhood being batted back and forth between groups of cruel, wealthy relatives. Sound like someone you know?  The plot thickens.  After Lucinda receives a pair of glass-beaded slippers, bequeathed to her by her mother but which had…

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Grimm Tales: just call Child Protective Services already

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 Maybe the name should clue you in. The stories collected by those cheery 19th century brothers German brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm (whose birthday it is today—he’d be 218), were the kind that taught children a lesson. Usually a bloody lesson about the perils of misbehaving. But over time, they’ve become known as “fairy tales,” with all the sweetness such a title implies. The recent NBC show Grimm seems to get the tone right, though: these are stories about things that most definitely go bump in the night. Here’s how modern audiences might react if regaled afresh—having no knowledge of the centuries-old originals—with three classic children’s tales collected and conjured up in the land of the Grimms.   Rapunzel Scenario: In…

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