Join us in reading this fairy-tale retelling over the next few months! In March, 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 by joining our Facebook group!
Keep reading for more information about this book and the fairy-tale which inspires it.
Gingerbread (published 2019) is the latest novel from author Helen Oyoyemi, and draws inspiration from both the children's folktale and nursery rhyme "The Gingerbread Man" and from the German fairy-tale "Hansel and Gretel," collected by the Brothers Grimm (and featuring a house of gingerbread, among other confections).
"The Gingerbread Man" is categorized within the Aarne-Thompson-Uther system as ATU-2025 (referred to as "The Runaway Pancake" type tale). The version most commonly known (at least in America) today harkens back to a children's tale collected in Maine and published in 1875, a facsimile of which can be read in full here.
"Hansel and Gretel" fits within the category of ATU-327A (which is named after this tale), and a full English translation of the text can be found here.
Although you can find Oyeyemi's Gingerbread just about wherever books are sold, we recommend that if you're looking to purchase the book, you consider supporting a small bookshop, either by buying directly from them or by visiting bookshop.org for your purchase (an online bookseller which shares a significant portion of their profits with small, independent bookstores). Your local library is also a great place to look for the book, and may very well have an ebook option for you, as well.