Politically Correct Bedtime Stories
James Finn Garner has taken 12 time-tested tales and retold them with the newfound sensitivity of our times. Here's a snippet from "Little Red Riding Hood":
The wolf said, "You know, my dear, it isn't safe for a little girl to walk through these woods alone."
Red Riding Hood said, "I find your sexist remark offensive in the extreme, but I will ignore it because of your traditional status as an outcast from society, the stress of which has caused you to develop your own, entirely valid, worldview. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must be on my way."
Leap into a fairy-tale world where trolls are "dirt-accomplished and odor-enhanced," witches are "kindness-impaired," and Cinderella wears a gown "woven of silk stolen from unsuspecting silkworms." We can only regret that Garner had to exclude "The Duckling That Was Judged on Its Personal Merits and Not on Its Physical Appearance" for space reasons.
From Publishers Weekly
In this thin book Garner proposes to create "meaningful literature that is totally free from bias and purged from the influence of its flawed cultural past." The results are extremely funny. Updated to account for modern political sensibilities, these revisionist folktales reflect wit and an engaging knack for irony. In "Little Red Riding Hood," Grandma exacts her feminist revenge on the woodchopper, who "assumes that womyn and wolves can't solve their own problems without a man's help." In "The Frog Prince," the princess, now an "eco-feminist warrior," discovers that her dream frog is not a prince, but a real-estate developer. In other tales, Rapunzel becomes a self-reliant coffee-house singer and the Three Little Pigs armed guerrillas, while cultural imperialists such as The Big Bad Wolf and Goldilocks get what has been coming to them for centuries. The author strikes just the right tone here: clever, with more than a touch of self-awareness. And while each of these tales is short and easily digestible, in this case quickly read does not equal quickly forgotten. After one finishes this collection, "happily ever after" will never seem quite the same.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.