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Our look at some highlights from our Young Adult and Children’s Fiction section continues with our series on Cinderella.

On top of the many modern retellings, there are also a myriad of older versions that we might consider templates: not only Grimm’s “Aschenputtl” (published 1812), but also the Chinese “Yeh-hsien” (recorded circa 850), and Giambattista Basile’s Italian “Cerentola” (published 1634). Any consideration of the story we call “Cinderella” for simplicity’s sake must acknowledge that Cinderella has had a dizzying array of personae over hundreds of years, in several cultures. There is no one authoritative tale of Cinderella, only a hall of mirrors with a different face in each reflection.

Marie Rutkoski explains that in almost all Cinderella stories, across cultures and centuries, nature is always a powerful force. One notable exception to that rule, however, is Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, which cast a most unnatural cyborg in the heroine’s role. Ella Enchanted gives readers a more modern and relatable Ella to draw us in to the familiar tale. And last, in Sarah Skilton’s review of Ash, a lesbian retelling of the story, she asks “what is the point of fairy tales if not to tempt the reader into making a wish to exchange his or her world for a different one?”.


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