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In the 1970s, feminists focused critical attention on fairy tales and broke the spell that had enchanted readers for centuries. By exposing the role of fairy tales in the cultural struggle over gender, feminism transformed fairy-tale studies and sparked a debate that would change the way society thinks about fairy tales and the words happily ever after. Now, after three decades of provocative criticism and controversy, this book reevaluates the feminist critique of fairy tales.
The eleven essays within Fairy Tales and Feminism challenge and rethink conventional wisdom about the fairy-tale heroine and offer new insights into the tales produced by female writers and storytellers. Resisting a one-dimensional view of the woman-centered fairy tale, each essay reveals ambiguities in female-authored tales and the remarkable potential of classical tales to elicit unexpected responses from women. Exploring new texts and contexts, Fairy Tales and Feminism reaches out beyond the national and cultural boundaries that have limited our understanding of the fairy tale. The authors reconsider the fairy tale in French, German, and Anglo-American contexts and also engage African, Indian Ocean, Iberian, Latin American, Indo-Anglian, and South Asian diasporic texts. Also considered within this volume is how film, television, advertising, and the Internet test the fairy tale's boundaries and its traditional authority in defining gender.
From the Middle Ages to the postmodern age-from the French fabliau to Hollywood's Ever After and television's Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?-the essays assembled here cover a broad range of topics that map new territory for fairy-tale studies. Framed by a critical survey of feminist fairy-tale scholarship and an extensive bibliography-the most comprehensive listing of women-centered fairy-tale research ever assembled-Fairy Tales and Feminism is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the intersection of fairy tales and feminism.