The Witch

The Witch

And Other Tales Re-Told

Additional Formats
  • Hardcover
  • ISBN 9780399170584
  • 272 Pages
  • Blue Rider Press
  • Adult


Great fairy tales are not always stories designed for children. The lurking wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood,” the gingerbread house that lures Hansel and Gretel, the beauty asleep in her castle—these fables represent some of our deepest, most primeval fears and satisfy our longing for good to win out over evil (preferably in the most gruesome way possible). In this captivating new collection, critically acclaimed author Jean Thompson takes the classic fairy tale and brings it into the modern age with stories that capture the magic and horror in everyday life. The downtrodden prevail, appearances deceive, and humility and virtue triumph in The Witch, as lost children try to find their way home, adults cursed by past unspeakable acts are fated to experience their own horror in the present, and true love—or is it enchantment?—conquers all. The Witch and Other Tales Re-Told is a haunting and deeply entertaining collection, showcasing the inimitable Thompson at the height of her storytelling prowess.


“In this spooky, enthralling, and morally complex collection, National Book Award finalist Thompson…shows evil, wonder, and majesty…Thompson skillfully infuses our banal world of technology, reality TV, and pop psychology with genuine horror….as eerie as anything you’ll find in the Brothers Grimm.”
Publishers Weekly

“[S]hrewdly unnerving and bewitching improvisations on fairy tales… clever, caring, funny, and wrenching… Thompson’s wizardly command is spellbinding, and her keen and unexpected revelations are, by turn and twist, grim and ebullient.”Booklist (starred)

“[A] series of exuberantly imaginative riffs on traditional folk and fairy tales…they offer all the chills and suspense embedded in those ancient pinnacles, gorges and deep, dark woods….[a] spirited, provocative collection.”
—Valerie Miner, San Francisco Chronicle

“[An] arresting collection. Thompson transforms old tales, rendering them at once familiar and surprising.
—Rob Cline, The Iowa Gazette

“The dangers [in Thompson’s stories] are, in fact, so familiar that one might miss the foreboding peculiar to fairy tales where anything might happen….And that is something Thompson does especially well. She has a clear, strong sense of how all sorts of people work, sometimes a mystery even to themselves, and her smart, spare style, conveying these inner workings in an almost matter-of-fact way, is a sly modern counterpart of the age-old storyteller’s voice, simply reporting the way things are, however strange.”
–Ellen Akins, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“In this collection of eight updated fairy tales, Jean Thompson demonstrates once again that she’s a modern-day Katherine Mansfield, capturing the culture with trenchant wit. These stories are entertaining, but also creepy; just when you think you know where Thompson is going—you look around and nothing is familiar anymore. Thompson is a wizard of the short story, and these tales are magical—and diabolical.”
—Julia Keller, NPR’s Best Books of 2014
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