Following the adaptation and sanitisation of fairy stories by the Brothers Grimm, Disney and others, writers are increasingly restoring these tales to their original, complex and sometimes dark and creepy forms. Marita de Sterck is the unbeatable master: as an anthropologist, she gathers tales, which she writes down uncensored, with all their cruelty, violence, passion and eroticism. For this collection of stories, she sought inspiration on her home soil in Flanders, among fellow citizens with origins in countries including Afghanistan, Ukraine, Suriname, Israel and Congo.
Deeply human and timelessMichael De Cock
It is striking that many of the same motifs occur in different cultures. In that sense, people all over the world are connected. The Cinderella motif, for instance, or the animal as a bride or bridegroom are ancient themes that pop up over and over again in many different guises. De Sterck has once again chosen stories with strong female characters. These fairy-tale figures are rowdy and belligerent troublemakers who try to take charge of the situation. They do not simply give in to the status quo, and this can be inspiring for the reader. Imagining the unthinkable is a safe way to explore boundaries. These stories also encourage the discussion of taboos. An essential read for anyone who loves real folk tales.
A dazzling voyage of discovery through the mythical and cruel world of folk talesAbdelkader Benali