Here are the moments that our fairy tales forgot or deliberately concealed, reimagined by one of the most gifted storytellers of his generation, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Hours. Rarely have our bedtime stories been this dark, this perverse, or this true.
The Beast stands ahead of you in line at the convenience store, buying smokes and a Slim Jim, his devouring smile aimed at the cashier. A malformed little man with a knack for minor acts of wizardry goes to disastrous lengths to procure a child. A loutish and lazy Jack prefers living in his mother's basement to getting a job, until the day he trades a cow for a handful of magic beans.
In A Wild Swan and Other Tales, the people and the talismans of lands far, far away – the mythic figures of our childhoods and the source of so much of our wonder – are transformed by Michael Cunningham into stories of sublime revelation.