Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold

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Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold

Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold

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Vice Chair of the Royal Society of Literature, she was awarded an MBE For Services to Literature in 2021. This collection includes an introduction by Carolyne Larrington who is an author and professor of medieval literature at Oxford University. What McBride brings to an otherwise “straight” account is a strongly opinionated present-day narrator, who keeps intervening with ironic commentary about the story. She is the talk of the town as no one knows who the father of her baby is and she keeps it a secret as well. Some end almost rapidly, with a reader wishing there was more to it, making the story stay with a reader for far longer.

The grammar was a little all over the place, sentences that should have had commas but just didn't, so the flow was off. The echoes between stories give the collection a wonderfully satisfying cohesion, so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Daisy Johnson starts Hag off with a story that poses the question at the heart of any retelling: Is it mine to tell? 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.

She is the founder of gal-dem, a media company committed to spotlighting the creative talents of people of colour from marginalised genders. Among the best stories are those which let the original material speak for itself, albeit in a changed context.

She is the author of nine books, including those published by Bloomsbury, Quercus and the National Trust. Daisy Johnson starts off this story by telling us that she is asked to do a retelling of The Green Children of Woolpit and then she starts to see this woman who maybe resembles the girl from that original story only now a grownup. She'd never met her father and when she was all grown up, she leaves the town she grew up in to move to the big city and finds work on a secluded farm where the owner doesn't pay her much and got her to work tirelessly. I also liked the inclusion of the original inspiration for the retellings – it was interesting to see how the author’s used their creativity and explored the themes of those tales.DARK, POTENT AND UNCANNY, HAG BURSTS WITH THE UNTOLD STORIES OF OUR ISLES, CAPTURED IN VOICES AS VARIED AS THEY ARE VIVID.

She also gives a voice to the nameless woman of the original tale, and flips the perception that she is a victim. Thanks to Virage, Little Brown and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Each Hag story has a woman either at its heart or close to it; women's friendships and their enmities, their power to give birth and to deal death, to harm and to heal thread their way through the narratives.

Originally conceived as an Audible podcast, the book version from Virago Press also has two new stories as well as copies of the original tales on which they are based. In this context, Emma Glass reinvents the Welsh legend of the Fairy Midwife in the disturbing The Dampness is Spreading whereas Naomi Booth’s Sour Hall unexpectedly turns a legend about a pesky boggart into a searing condemnation of male violence and abuse. The stories that we tell are sometimes true and at other times the truth is buried in the legends of the land. It follows the perspective of a young girl and her brother who watch their father abuse their mother. Just as the Brothers Grimm codified Germany's rural folk lore, Hag catalogues the early myths and legends that have shaped the UK's storytelling heritage.

Carolyn Larrington, the tales in this collection bring attention not just to great female authors but also to perhaps forgotten gems of British and Irish folklore.That is not to say that these stories are by any means weaker or more predictable for having their authors’ hallmarks. Reaching new depths hinted at in Fen, language and landscape turn strange, full of creeping horror and beauty.

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

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