GUEST WRITER REESE PHOENIX RECOMMENDS CURSED: AN ANTHOLOGY
Curses can manifest in countless arrays of landscapes and surface in various scopes. They are often cloaked or buried in the unlikeliest dwellings, or concealed just around the corner, perhaps to provide us with greater motivation to be cautious in life. Nonetheless, they are indispensable components of fairy tales and fundamental principles of stories of ethics and virtues that many are exposed to in childhood. They aim to impart upon us lessons of decency and further our conviction that indiscretions ought to be reprimanded, and with any luck, to direct us toward a conservative and traditional track of nobler conduct. After all, in the absence of wickedness how could one appreciate righteousness?
Cursed: An Anthology, by Christina Henry assembles familiar tales inspired by authors such as the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Charles Perrault, while incorporating feasibly more foreign fables influenced by ones originating from France, Denmark, and Norway. Impassioned readers of the genre looking for contemporary darlings like Neil Gaiman may be disappointed to see that Troll Bridge, a fan favourite, is his only work in the book. However,Cursed is an excellent collection with a broad assortment. Jane Yolen’s Castle Cursed and Castle Walking offer occasions for poetry, while her work Little Red with Adam Stemple, and Christina Henry’s As Red as Blood, as White as Snow deliver new alternatives for deconstructed fairy tale fans.
Containing stories that may feel quite dark and ‘twisted’ with some blood and gore, Cursed would be most appropriate for high school students. Individual readers who can digest these tales would be best left up to the discretion of the teacher.
Bio: Reese is a pre-service teacher at UNB and an enthusiastic reader of 19th century “classics.” Reese hopes to engender a love of reading in students, provoke them to question and think about what they are reading, and awaken an enduring, lifelong thirst for inquiry.