Daniel Ortberg — perhaps most famous for cofounding the wry and side-splitting feminist website The Toast — brings us his deliciously subverted collection of classic fairy tales that turn gendered expectations on their head. Hilarious, dark, deeply intelligent — in short, unmissable. Recommended By Cosima C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
From Daniel Mallory Ortberg comes a collection of darkly mischievous stories based on classic fairy tales. Adapted from the beloved "Children's Stories Made Horrific" series, "The Merry Spinster" takes up the trademark wit that endeared Ortberg to readers of both The Toast and the best-selling debut Texts From Jane Eyre. The feature has become among the most popular on the site, with each entry bringing in tens of thousands of views, as the stories proved a perfect vehicle for Ortberg's eye for deconstruction and destabilization. Sinister and inviting, familiar and alien all at the same time, The Merry Spinster updates traditional children's stories and fairy tales with elements of psychological horror, emotional clarity, and a keen sense of feminist mischief.
Readers of The Toast will instantly recognize Ortberg's boisterous good humor and uber-nerd swagger: those new to Ortberg's oeuvre will delight in this collection's unique spin on fiction, where something a bit mischievous and unsettling is always at work just beneath the surface.
Unfalteringly faithful to its beloved source material, The Merry Spinster also illuminates the unsuspected, and frequently, alarming emotional complexities at play in the stories we tell ourselves, and each other, as we tuck ourselves in for the night.
Bed time will never be the same.
"Dark and dreadful and persistently clever. Ortberg bloodily turns familiar tales inside out." Rainbow Rowell, No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of Carry On
"Ortberg’s sly, scathing renditions...strike directly at the heart....The book brings the shock of the new and the shock of recognition into play at the same time; it’s a tour de force of skill, daring, and hard-earned bravura." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"A wholly satisfying blend of silliness, feminist critique, and deft prose makes this a collection of bedtime stories that will keep you up at night for all the right reasons." Kirkus (Starred Review)
About the Author
Daniel Lavery (formerly Daniel Mallory Ortberg) is an American author and editor. He co-founded the website The Toast and has written the books Texts from Jane Eyre (2014) and The Merry Spinster (2018) as well as Slate's "Dear Prudence" advice column. He also hosts the "Dear Prudence" podcast.