Books and reading,  Bright Things

Bright Things #19: Grimm’s Fairy Tales

One of the themes of The Memory Collectors is our relationship to physical objects — the memories, emotions, and power they hold for us. Every week leading up to the book’s release, I’ll share the story of an object that’s special to me.

If I had to choose a favourite childhood book, it would be this copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. It’s the only book I still own from when I was a kid. It has over 200 stories in it, and I know I read them all because I checked them off in the table of contents with a pencil crayon. I received it as a gift when I was about seven, and it was such a revelation to read the original versions of stories that I thought I knew.

I remember vividly how I felt reading the Grimm’s version of Cinderella, especially the moments when her stepsisters cut off their own heels and toes in order to fit into the glass slipper. I am lucky to have had a lovely and idyllic childhood, so the idea that such brutal ambition existed in the world was shocking to me, but also terribly fascinating. I guess it should be no surprise that my own stories often go to dark places.

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