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

March 21, 2014   •   By Leslie Stephens, Genevieve Valentine, Tim J. Myers, Shana Mlawski


Sarah Durst


Edith Pattou

East o’ the sun and West o’ the Moon

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