Fairy Tale Series: On Norway's “East of the Sun, West of the Moon”

Fairy Tale Series: On Norway's “East of the Sun, West of the Moon”

Ice by Sarah Durst
East by Edith Pattou
East o’ the sun and West o’ the Moon by P.J. Lynch

IN THE LATEST edition of our "Fairy Tale Series," four writers evaluate the unusual Norwegian folktale, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, and trace its themes from the original story to retellings just published. 

GENEVIEVE VALENTINE considers how most folktales are born of an oral tradition that provides as many variants as storytellers. LESLIE STEPHENS considers Edith Pattou’s combination of relatable normalcy and fantastical fairytale elements in the book East. TIM MYERS discusses the various illustrators around the East of the Sun, West of the Moon folktale. Finally, SHANA MLAWSKI argues that Sarah Durst updates the themes from the East of the Sun fairy tale in her new telling, Ice.




"And I Will Seek You": GENEVIEVE VALENTINE on East of the Sun, West of the Moon






Visions of the Beast: TIMOTHY MYERS on the many illustrators of East of the Sun, West of the Moon.







Girl from the North Country: LESLIE STEPHENS on Edith Pattou's East







Yes, No, Yes: SHANA MLAWSKI on choice and duty in Sarah Beth Durst's Ice



LARB Contributors

Leslie Stephens is a senior at Wellesley College majoring in Psychology and English. She is an avid foodie with the intention of pursuing a career in food publishing.

Genevieve Valentine’s first novel, Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti , won the 2012 Crawford Award. The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, a 1920s retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, is forthcoming from Atria in 2014. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Journal of Mythic Arts, Lightspeed, the anthologies Federations, Teeth, and more. Her nonfiction has appeared at NPR.org, The A.V. ClubStrange Horizons, and io9, and more. Her appetite for bad movies is insatiable, a tragedy she tracks at genevievevalentine.com.

Tim J. Myers is a writer, songwriter, storyteller, and senior lecturer at Santa Clara University. His children’s books--11 out and four on the way--have won recognition from the New York Times, NPR, and the Smithsonian. He’s published over 120 poems, won a first prize in a poetry contest judged by John Updike, has two books of adult poetry out, and won a major prize in science fiction. He won the West Coast Songwriters Saratoga Chapter Song of the Year and the 2012 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for Fiction. He can also whistle and hum at the same time. 

Shana Mlawski is the author of Hammer of Witches, a YA historical-fantasy from Tu Books. She is also a pop culture critic at OverthinkingIt.com.


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