The View From Your Window*
The Tales of Scheherazade

The "Beastly Bride" Author Interview Series




Charles Tan has posted more interviews from the authors who contributed to The Beastly Bride, providing an interesting, behind-the-scenes look at the writing of mythic fiction. 

Midori Snyder ("The Monkey Girl")

   (Read this one in tandem with her previous essay/memoir on the Monkey Girl folktale, which is available online here.)

Steve Berman ("Thimbleriggery and Fledgelings")

   (More on "swan maiden" legends can be found here.)

Carol Emshwiller ("The Abominable Child's Tale")

Hiromi Goto ("The Hikikomori")

     A snippet from Midori's interview:

Charles Tan: As a folklorist and writer, what is it about fairy tales and myths that appeal to you?

Midori Snyder: Oh so many ways to answer this question! But here are two thoughts: First, fairy tales and myth are a cherished collective resource of story telling of narratives, iconic figures both human and fantastic, the language flat in some ways to allow the personality of teller to infuse her own creative flourishes, yet studded with richly evocative imagery that captures the emotions of the listener or reader. They center mostly around the areas of greatest social tension in a community -- and those conflicts have not changed over time. We still go through rites of passage, changes in identity, deal with birth and death. And though some of these tales are more than a thousand years old, they still hold us sway -- we are still talking to them, incorporating them in contemporary works, still returning to them like a deep well of inspiration. And second, I love the tension that comes from pairing the real and the fantastic together in myth and folktales-- it creates a unique storytelling experience. It used to be said that the success of fantasy required a "suspension of disbelief." But I have never bought that argument. The success (and indeed the historical durability of such tales) lies precisely in knowing the difference and experiencing the tension that vibrates between the real and the fantastic images. That's where the real story lies -- in making sense of the impossible -- and isn't that akin to task of growing up? Of penetrating the mysteries of love, marriage, children, death -- all the big moments? We listen to the words, or we read them -- but we feel them with our senses, our emotions --made more aware by the seemingly incompatible presence of real and fantastic imagery.

     Links to the rest of the interviews can be found here. The art above is by Harry Clarke.