Writer and poet Nikita Gill is publishing a book of "empowering" reimaginings of traditional fairytales with Trapeze.
Slated for publication on 6th September in hardback, audio and e-book, Fierce Fairytales is a collection of stories, poems and hand-drawn illustrations that, in Orion's words, "gives Once Upon a Time a much-needed modern makeover".
"Gone are the gender stereotypes of obliging lovers, violent men and girls that need rescuing," reads the marketing copy for the book. "Instead, lines blur between heroes and villains and you’ll meet brave princesses, a new kind of wolf lurking in the concrete jungle and a courageous Gretel who can bring down monsters on her own."
Emma Smith, commissioning Editor at Trapeze, bought world all-language rights directly from the author, and said the book deconstructed damaging myths.
"We were thrilled with Wild Embers so I am absolutely delighted to continue working with Nikita on a book that brings even more fire and magic to an even bigger audience," said Smith. "Fairytale tropes are long overdue a 21st century feminist update, and Nikita has skilfully delivered nuanced characters, deconstructed damaging myths, and has gotten under the skin of toxic masculinity. This collection will not just be a thing of beauty, but will be a book to light up the minds of generations to come."
The news follows on the heels of a number of acquisitions of "feminist" fairytales for children and young adults, such as Carnegie Medal winning author Jennifer Donnelly’s “subversive retelling” of Cinderella for a YA readership, picked up by Hot Key Books for a “high six-figure sum”, and Scholastic’s acquisition of YA author’s Louise O’Neill’s “dazzling” feminist retelling of The Little Mermaid.
Last week, Tangleweed and Brine (Little Island Books), a collection of 13 dark, feminist retellings of traditional fairytales, picked up the 28th Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year Award.