Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins Background

Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins Background

Kissing the Witch is a fiction collection written by Irish author Emma Donoghue, who was born in Dublin. Her works, including the well-received novel Room, have received many awards and were renowned bestsellers. Kissing the Witch is a fantasy collection of thirteen fairy tales; the text represents a new way of narrating the old fairy tales like Cinderella and Snow White. Each princess's story changes dramatically, from Cinderella loving her stepmother to Bella's beast being a woman in love with Bella during this whole time. The stories addresses life-changing decisions and transformation. Donoghue uniquely changes these stories from their dull archaic appearance to the modern plot-twists.

Donoghue says that this 'is the easiest story (she has) written'. She also says that she has loved fairy tales since she was a child and so this passion inspired her to change the normal fairy tale into more interesting ones. Emma Donoghue points out a key point in her intention to write the story where she says: 'One aspect of Kissing the Witch which I must admit was initially a simple ploy to link the stories and so make them more marketable – the device of having each be told by its protagonist to the protagonist of the previous story – has turned out to be the part that intrigues academics most.'

The book received mostly positive reviews. For one, it earned a 3.8 out of a 4-star rating on Goodreads. New York Times says in its book review: '‘Kissing the Witch is written with luscious words you want to roll around on your tongue... Donoghue transmutes base vignettes into gold.' Irish Times said: 'A daring, woman-identified revisitation of fairytale land ... a book to be read for its language, for an altered perception, given as a gift between lovers.' Lastly, the Guardian news article said: ‘These bold rewritings of fairy tales from the perspectives of their female protagonists are salvaged from the political soap-box by Donoghue's sense of humour and delight in the rhythmic mythologies of the genre. ... An original and playful endeavour.' Overall, Kissing the Witch is a unique collection of fairy tale stories that connects the characters together and changes their long-known stories.

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