Stranger than Real Life

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At Lit Hub, Tobias Carroll discusses the enduring appeal of strange fairy tales, and their influence on contemporary fiction:

They remind us that the larger world is inherently complex, that the lessons imparted by stories of wicked creatures and good-hearted men and women rarely apply in our world. Bodies that change in bizarre ways, shifting landscapes, and sudden decisions that upend the world around us? That’s a lot more familiar, and sets in motion an uneasily narrative attraction.


Katie O'Brien is an English major at Cornell University, where she writes for kitsch magazine, DJs for a rock station, and complains about the cold. Find her on Twitter @abluekite. More from this author →