Happily: A Personal History with Fairy Tales by Sabrina Orah Mark (HC)

Happily: A Personal History with Fairy Tales by Sabrina Orah Mark (HC)

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The literary tradition of the fairy tale has long endured as the vehicle by which we interrogate the laws of reality. These fantastical stories, populated with wolves, kings, and wicked witches, have throughout history served as a template for understanding culture, society, and that muddy terrain we call our collective human psyche. In Happily, Sabrina Orah Mark reimagines the modern fairy tale, turning it inside out and searching it for the wisdom to better understand our contemporary moment in what Mark so incisively calls “this strange American weather.”

Set against the backdrop of political upheaval, viral plague, social protest, and climate change, Mark locates the magic in the mundane and illuminates the surreality of life as we know it today. She grapples with a loss of innocence in “Sorry, Peter Pan, We’re Over You,” when her son decides he would rather dress up as Martin Luther King, Jr., than Peter Pan for Halloween. In “The Evil Stepmother,” Mark finds unlikely communion with wicked wives and examines the roots of their bad reputation. And in “Rapunzel, Draft One Thousand,” the hunt for a wigmaker in a time of unprecedented civil unrest forces Mark to finally confront her sister’s cancer diagnosis and the stories we tell ourselves to get by.

Revelatory, whimsical, and utterly inspired, 
Happily is a testament to the singularity of Sabrina Orah Mark’s voice and the power of the fantastical to reveal essential truths about life, love, and the meaning of family.

REVIEWS

“One of the most inventive, phenomenally executed books I’ve read in decades.”—Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy

Happily . . . is a bubbling cauldron filled with ingredients as diverse as parenting and premonitions, mythological creatures and marriage, mothers and sons and fairies and witches, and always there is magic. . . . Mark’s essays . . . often [end] somewhere far from where the reader may have expected; however, it is always exactly as it should be.”—Shelf Awareness

“Each [essay] sums up a different fairy tale, or set of tales, making clever, lyrical, sometimes-disturbing connections . . . Sprinkle these clever essays like breadcrumbs through the forest of your days.”—Kirkus Reviews

PRODUCT DETAILS
Hardcover Edition
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 978-0593242476
Pages: 224