2020 Mythopoeic Award Finalist2020 Locus Award finalist for Best CollectionContains "A Country Called Winter," 2020 Locus Award finalist for Best Novelette
"I was expecting this to be good, but it's wonderful. Seeing these pieces together makes me realize what a vivid, authentic and important voice Goss is. These are real fairytales, magical, unsettling, touching, and brilliant. I loved every word." -Jo Walton, World Fantasy, Nebula, and Hugo award-winning author of Among Others
"Fairy tales are clothing, and to retell them is fashion. The fashion of these particular stories and poems is an abundance of lace, roses and porcelain contrasting with fur, snow and blood." -Amal El-Mohtar, The New York Times
"Goss takes obvious delight in reweaving classic European folk tales to reveal new, often deeply feminist, perspectives . . . This toothsome collection is best read in one go." -Publishers Weekly, starred review
A young woman hunts for her wayward shadow at the school where she first learned magic-while another faces a test she never studied for as ice envelopes the world. The tasks assigned a bookish boy lead him to fateful encounters with lizards, owls, trolls and a feisty, sarcastic cat. A bear wedding is cause for celebration, the spinning wheel and the tower in the briar hedge get to tell their own stories, and a kitchenmaid finds out that a lost princess is more than she seems. The sea witch reveals what she hoped to gain when she took the mermaid's voice. A wiser Snow White sets out to craft herself a new tale.
In these eight stories and twenty-three poems, World Fantasy Award winner Theodora Goss retells and recasts fairy tales by Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Oscar Wilde. Sometimes harrowing, sometimes hilarious, always lyrical, the works gathered in Snow White Learns Witchcraft re-center and empower the women at the heart of these timeless narratives. Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Grand Master Jane Yolen, in her introduction, proclaims that Goss "transposes, transforms, and transcends times, eras, and old tales with ease. But also there is a core of tough magic that runs through all her pieces like a river through Faerie . . . I am ready to reread some of my new favorites."
More praise for Snow White Learns Witchcraft
"Theodora Goss re-fleshes and re-clothes old tales in multifarious ways. Sometimes the stories' new garments are classic and mythic, sometimes they're up-to-the-minute, twenty-first-century creations . . . Goss shines her unique light into the fairytale forest-and many bright eyes gleam back." -Margo Lanagan, New York Times-bestselling and World Fantasy Award-winning author of Tender Morsels
"Theodora Goss's Snow White Learns Witchcraft is a gorgeous, lyric collection of fairy tale retellings. Goss has the ability-the witchcraft-to be able to see the heart of the tale, and show it, polished and reflected and new, to the reader." -Kat Howard, Alex Award-winning author of An Unkindness of Magicians
"This collection does what the best songs and poems and spells do: slips gently into your consciousness, then slowly changes the way you see the world." -Fran Wilde, World Fantasy, Nebula, and Hugo finalist and author of the award-winning Bone Universe trilogy
Cover art by Ruth Sanderson
About the Author
Theodora Goss is the World Fantasy Award-winning author of many publications, including the short story collection In the Forest of Forgetting; Interfictions, a short story anthology coedited with Delia Sherman; Voices from Fairyland, a poetry anthology with critical essays and a selection of her own poems; The Thorn and the Blossom, a novella in a two-sided accordion format; and the poetry collection Songs for Ophelia; and the novels, The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter, European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, and The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl. She has been a finalist for the Nebula, Locus, Crawford, Seiun, and Mythopoeic Awards, as well as on the Tiptree Award Honor List, and her work has been translated into eleven languages. She teaches literature and writing at Boston University and in the Stonecoast MFA Program. Visit her at TheodoraGoss.com.
The amazingly prolific Jane Yolen, has been called "America's Hans Christian Andersen." She is the distinguished author of over 300 books, including Fairy Tale Feasts, Jewish Fairy Tale Feasts, Owl Moon and Devil's Arithmetic. She lives on an old farm in western Massachusetts with numerous moles who do not seem to be afraid of anything. She enjoys taking walks along the river near her house and visiting people, including her editors--in fact, she wrote this book in the office of one of them. Kathryn Brown has illustrated numerous highly-acclaimed picture books for children. She lives with her husband and their daughter near Jane Yolen in western Massachusetts. She did not, however, use the moles on Jane Yolen's farm as models for this book. (They were too hard to catch.)
"The elegance of Goss's work has never ceased to amaze me. It feels effortless, but endlessly evocative and suggestive, flowing with the rhythms of both the natural world and the intimate socio-familial cosmos. Goss's language fits together like gems in a complex crown, a diadem of images and motifs, resting gently on the head, but with a deceptive weight."
--Catherynne M. Valente, New York Times-bestselling author of Space Opera
"In Snow White Learns Witchcraft, Theodora Goss weaves words that look disturbingly like snow and feathers into new stories that are familiar but uniquely remade. A Goss heroine breathes life into silent castles, imprints her own image in darkling mirrors, and plucks enchanted apples from the hands of peddlers; she is a bear's bride, a newly minted queen, a thunderstorm of a woman and so much more. Dr. Goss cements her position as one of our foremost re-interpreters of fairy tales."
--Angela Slatter, World Fantasy Award-winning author of The Bitterwood Bible
"What will you find in these pages, dear reader? Why, the encyclopedia of everything (as written by an owl), what the mirror really knows, rubies red with wolf's blood-and, surprise!--the secret of who actually spun that straw into gold. Ice, iron, apples, birds, bones, subversion: Theodora Goss's new collection of stories and poems Snow White Learns Witchcraft is woven of the finest spider silk, a funnel-web of faerie tales that will catch you fast and not let you go."
--C. S. E. Cooney, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Bone Swans