KATE BERNHEIMER / My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 7:30pm


“Let’s open the door to the greenroom and peek to see who is


waiting. A bevy of beauties . . . an evanescence of sprites . . . an


abundance of adversaries . . . a passel of princes . . . Maybe we


should have brought that bubbly; but there’s something being


served here more deeply inebriating than champagne. Hush.”


-- Gregory Maguire, from the Foreword


Childhood memories of princesses and ogres dominate our perception of fairy tales. Yet for many modern writers, the fairy tale is a living art form as relevant today as the tales of the Brothers Grimm were hundreds of years ago. My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, edited by Kate Bernheimer, is a celebration of this unique story form, with contributions from forty extraordinary writers. Inspired by everything from Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl” to fairy tales by Goethe and representing countries from China to Mexico, these stories will thrill you with worlds where the real and unreal exist side by side.


As the recent success of the film Alice in Wonderland illustrates, fairy tales are making a comeback, attracting attention from studios and scriptwriters who see their big screen potential. The contemporary writers whose stories fill this fabulous volume are already familiar with the power contained in fairy tales. They have mined the classic stories that thrilled us as children and lovingly transformed them into modern tales, applicable to adult lives. Those writers are Kim Addonizio, Chris Adrian, Rabih Alameddine, Naoko Awa, Aimee Bender, Francesca Lia Block, Karen Brennan, Kevin Brockmeier, Sarah Sun-Lien Bynum, Lucy Corin, Michael Cunningham, Ludmilla Petrusheyskaya, Kathryn Davis, Rikki Ducornet, Brian Evenson, Karen Joy Fowler, Neil Gaiman, Lily Hoang, Hiromi Ito, Shelley Jackson, Ilya Kaminsky, Jonathan Keats, Neil Labute, Kelly Link, Sabrina Orah Mark, Michael Martone, Joyelle McSweeney, Michael Mejia, Lydia Millet, Alissa Nutting, Joyce Carol Oates, Francine Prose, Stacey Richter, Marjorie Sander, Timothy Schaffert, Jim Shepard, John Updike, Katherine Vaz, Kellie Wells, and Joy Williams.


The writers and stories in this unique collection represent amazing diversity. Neil Gaiman and Francesca Lia Block offer an entirely new take on Greek mythology. Naoko Awa and Hiromi Ito magically resurrect Japanese folktales. Bluebeard and his infamous castle are revived by Joyce Carol Oates and John Updike. Stacey Richter and Michael Martone reimagine lasting favorites such as “Cinderella” and “Jack and the Beanstalk.” My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me challenges us to preserve fairy tales for future generations. These, after all, are the stories that find a way to speak to everyone.


Late-breaking news: joining us will be special guest JONATHON KEATS, whose story in this anthology will be featured at Symphony Space’s Selected Shorts in a program hosted Gregory Maguire, also this evening. Hear it here!


Kate Bernheimer is the founder and editor of the literary journal, Fairy Tale Review and the editor of two previous anthologies, Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales and Brothers and Beasts: An Anthology of Men on Fairy Tales. She is also the author of several books, including two novels and a children’s book. She has published stories in such journals as Tin House, Western Humanities Review, and The Massachusetts Review. Her new story collection, Horse, Flower, Bird, is also just published; Kate will talk about this book, too, this evening. Bernheimer lives in Tucson, Arizona and teaches at the UniversityLouisiana in Lafayette


Joining Kate this evening is contributor Lucy Corin, the author of the short story collection The Entire Predicament and the novel Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls. She teaches at UC Davis, and is working on a book of a hundred very small apocalypses and a novel about the brain.











My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales Cover Image
By Kate Bernheimer (Editor), Kate Bernheimer (Introduction by), Gregory Maguire (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780143117841
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - September 28th, 2010

Horse, Flower, Bird Cover Image
By Kate Bernheimer, Rikki Ducornet (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781566892476
Availability: Out of Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Coffee House Press - August 24th, 2010

The Entire Predicament Cover Image
By Lucy Corin, Pam Houston (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780977698981
Availability: Out of Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tin House Books - September 28th, 2007