Baba Yaga is an ambiguous and fascinating figure. She appears in traditional Russian folktales as a monstrous and hungry cannibal, or as a canny inquisitor of the adolescent hero or heroine of the tale. In new translations and with an introduction by Sibelan Forrester, Baba Yaga: The Wild Witch of the East in Russian Fairy Tales
is a selection of tales that draws from the famous collection of Aleksandr Afanas'ev, but also includes some tales from the lesser-known nineteenth-century collection of Ivan Khudiakov. This new collection includes beloved classics such as Vasilisa the Beautiful and The Frog Princess, as well as a version of the tale that is the basis for the ballet The Firebird.
The preface and introduction place these tales in their traditional context with reference to Baba Yaga's continuing presence in today's culture--the witch appears iconically on tennis shoes, tee shirts, even tattoos. The stories are enriched with many wonderful illustrations of Baba Yaga, some old (traditional lubok woodcuts), some classical (the marvelous images from Victor Vasnetsov or Ivan Bilibin), and some quite recent or solicited specifically for this collection
"Tales about witches have never been more popular, and Sibelan Forrester's selection of folktales featuring the Russian witch Baba Yaga is a welcome addition to our stories featuring them. This is a solid contribution to the growing body of translations of Russian tales into English. A foreword by folklorist Jack Zipes adds to the quality of this attractively illustrated volume of folk stories. It's great fun for readers of all ages!"
--Jack V. Haney, editor and translator of The Complete Russian Folktale and Long, Long Tales from the Russian North