Both sisters read and review the same book, a fairy tale retelling.
Our Fairy-tale Book Club Pick for September 2022 is:
Join us in reading this adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale "The Wild Swans." In September, Mary and Elizabeth will each share a review of this novel. Then, they will discuss the book and share their discussion here. You can join the discussion as you read along by joining our Discord community or our Facebook group!
Keep reading for more information about this book and the fairy-tale and folklore inspiration behind it.
Published last year, Six Crimson Cranes is Elizabeth Lim's latest fairy-tale novel. A sequel, The Dragon's Promise, is schedules to be published on August 30--just in time to be available to read right away for anyone joining in reading Six Crimson Cranes for this book club.
In Six Crimson Cranes, Lim draws on East Asian (particularly Chinese and Japanese) folklore while primarily adapting Hans Christian Andersen's literary fairy tale "The Wild Swans." While this tale was originally written by Andersen, it is one which itself draws on and fits within the traditional tale type which has been called "The Brothers Who Were Turned Into Birds" or "The Maiden Who Seeks Her Brothers." This type of tale has been categorized as ATU-451, and you can find a selection of tales within this type (translated or edited by D.L. Ashliman) here. Stories in this category have origins from a wide selection of countries, including Ireland, Italy, Germany, Libya, Finland, Norway, and Romania. They have been collected by many familiar names: there are several Grimm variants, and Giambattista Basile and Andrew Lang each wrote down a collected version. You can find the full text of Jean Hersholt's translation of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Wild Swans" here (as well as links for the full text in its original Danish).
The unifying theme behind tales of this type (ATU-451) is that a maiden's brothers are magically transformed into birds, and it is up to her to break the curse upon them--often at great cost to herself, and typically involving a stipulation that the maiden may not speak until the task required to save her brothers has been completed.
Sisters and writers both. Love fairy tales.
Last quarter book club pick:
Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder