I’ve always like twisted fairy tales, maybe because I grew up in Hawaii where “chickenskin” stories about Pele’s curse or the Nightmarchers were more popular than treacle like Cinderella or Snow White (or at least the Disney versions– the original Brothers Grimm stories are full of cannibalism, torture, and dead children).
A review from the Seattle PI:
These Children Who Come at You With Knives, and Other Fairy Tales by Jim Knipfel
In These Children Who Come at You With Knives, and Other Fairy Tales, brilliance is rewarded with torture, beauty is its own punishment, and outrageous good fortune always turns to crap. The only thing worse than being the victim of some of the malevolent creatures in these fairy tales is to be their beneficiary. Twisted? You bet! Entertaining? And how!
And a NYT review of an excellent collection I came across last year:
There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya
Ludmilla Petrushevskaya was born in Moscow in 1938, at the height of the Stalinist terror, at a time when the Soviet Union was on the brink of war. For decades, censors shunned her fiction because of its impolitic bleakness, and she survived by working as an editor and translator, writing plays and television and radio scripts (when she could), and selling the occasional newspaper article. But with the rise of perestroika and the fall of Communism, she has been rehabilitated, and today is hailed as one of Russia’s best living writers.