Winterson and Shamsie in feminist fairy tale line-up from Vintage

Winterson and Shamsie in feminist fairy tale line-up from Vintage

Vintage will publish a series of classic fairy tales which “don’t need a happily ever after”, with feminist rewriting from authors Rebecca Solnit, Malorie Blackman, Jeanette Winterson and Kamila Shamsie.

Solnit will take on Cinderella in Cinderella Liberator, former children’s laureate Blackman will rewrite Bluebeard, Winterson will tackle Hansel and Gretel and Shamsie will rewrite The Ugly Duckling. The series will be released as short hardbacks in October 2020.

The publisher explains: “In this new series you won’t find passive beauties, macho princes, unconsenting kisses or witchy old women. These will be fairy tales reimagined for modern boys and girls – transformed into stories of liberation that don’t need a happily ever after. Written with compassion and freedom at their core this is a way for fairy tales to persist for a new generation. It is A Fairy Tale Revolution.”

Senior editor Charlotte Knight said: “Fairy tales are so brilliantly weird and powerful – and ingrained. We can’t wait to see all their magic, darkness and morality explored by these four exceptional writers to make something equally lasting.”

Winterson added: “This new series from Vintage is a great idea at the right time. Humanity is getting lost in the woods just now. The wisdom of fairy tales has always been a navigational tool.”

Cinderella Liberator was published in the US earlier this year by Haymarket. In the afterword, Solnit wrote: ‘I wanted a kinder story... I wanted to set everyone loose to be their best and freest selves. It’s why the book’s title is Cinderella Liberator, a phrase that carries hints of Katniss Everdeen and Imperator Furiosa and the women of Hong Kong action films like 'House of Flying Daggers' and 'The Heroic Trio', those powerful women who seize control of the means of production and destruction and move through the world like lionesses.”