‘Fierce Fairytales’ by Nikita Gill
Published: 11th September 2018
Format: Hardback, 176 pages
Synopsis: Traditional fairytales are rife with cliches and gender stereotypes: beautiful, silent princesses; ugly, jealous, and bitter villainesses; girls who need rescuing; and men who take all the glory. But in this rousing new prose and poetry collection, Nikita Gill gives Once Upon a Time a much-needed modern makeover. Through her gorgeous reimagining of fairytale classics and spellbinding original tales, she dismantles the old-fashioned tropes that have been ingrained in our minds. In this book, gone are the docile women and male saviours. Instead, lines blur between heroes and villains. You will meet fearless princesses, a new kind of wolf lurking in the concrete jungle, and an independent Gretel who can bring down monsters on her own.
This book is a collection of short stories and poems and boy was is a joy to read. This is technically my first willingly read poem book and so I floundered a little when it came to reading them the way they are meant to be read however, it didn’t take away their beauty. And these poems are beautiful because they spoke to me and I’m not even ashamed to admit that they made me cry on more than one occasion.
There is a fluidity to the poems and stories in this book that worked really well. It eases you into the fairytales by beginning with the earth and stars, it then moves into the classic fairytales we all know and love and it gives them a spin. A twist, a point of view that you never considered and that actually, speaks volumes about women in society today. Myths and legends have a space as do the monsters in our world today: cat callers. As with all feminist books there is a tendency for men to be viewed in a negative light and yes – there are stories here that are not kind towards men, but there are also some that acknowledge the good.
The thing about this book that unmasked my heart – is that it tips it’s hat to the fact that nothing in the world is black and white. We all endure experiences that can make or break us and it doesn’t allow us to apologise for which we go. It teaches you that many bad decisions come from survival and if you’re alive from making those decisions, you shouldn’t have to apologise. There’s a lot of power and I’m here for it.
“We have all taken turns being Red Riding Hood and we have all been the wolf.”
You can get your copy here