Local author twists tradition

By Kyra Smith-Cullen
A&E Editor

February 28, 2013

Fairy Tales have always held a special place in humanity’s hearts, evidenced by how they’ve survived generations. But lately, the classic stories have been modernized and twisted, and one Pennsylvania writer is contributing to this trend.

Clinton County resident Amanda Davis specializes in the horror genre and her preference is evident in some of the short stories and poems featured in a collection co-written by Megan Engelhardt titled ‘Wolves and Witches’. The writers change

the fairy tales’ points of view giving readers a look at opposing views of traditional tales. In some cases, the same story is featured, but the other author shares their unique perspective.

In Engelhardt’s version of ‘Rumpelstiltskin’, titled ‘The Long Con’, the plot focuses on what happens after the new mother

Photo Courtesy of worldweaverpress.com
Photo Courtesy of worldweaverpress.com

solves his riddle and the life of the son she bargained. It is through the small man’s eyes that the audience witnesses his

master plan, and the decision to use this viewpoint is the right one, because this is the only way the reader can comprehend its magnitude.

In comparison, Davis’s use of perspective in ‘The Gold in the Straw’ forces the audience to be the maiden as she struggles to make sense of her predicament. Instead of watching the story unfold before them, the reader unfolds it themselves.

Even with the familiarity the remade traditional tales offer, one of the best stories in the collection is Davis’s original story ‘Questing for Princesses’. The plot follows Prince Harold, a monarch in a world where fairy tale romances pursue him.  He in turn refuses them simply because he has better things to do. The reader gets to poke fun at the fantasies through Harold, either by sarcastic remarks or action – like sending Cinderella 20 pairs of unmatched shoes when she marries his friend. But in the end, it becomes its own fairytale because of his realizations.

The aforementioned stories are just a few of the many offered in the book, and each one is enthralling in its simplicity and succinctness. They are delightfully crafted works that will change the way the audiences look at the beloved classics.

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