Politically Correct Bedtime Stories: A Collection of Modern Tales for Our Life and Times

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9780285632233: Politically Correct Bedtime Stories: A Collection of Modern Tales for Our Life and Times
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In a collection guaranteed to provoke both laughter and thought, 14 timeless fairy tales are revisited and reworked to become relevant fables for more modern times. These hilarious adaptations satirize and sanitize the sexist, racist, nationalist, ageist, sizeist, ethnocentrist, and phallocentrist biases of classic bedtime stories. Familiar exploits of beloved characters are related from a respectful, prejudice-free perspective: the Emperor is no longer naked in his new clothes but is endorsing a clothing-optional lifestyle,” Snow White escapes to the cottage of seven vertically-challenged men,” and Goldilocks is an ambitious scientist studying anthropomorphic bears. With a redesigned jacket and a previously unpublished story, this expanded edition is sure to appeal to readers of multiple generations who find political correctness is as topical as ever.

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Review:

James Finn Garner has taken 12 time-tested tales and retold them with the newfound sensitivity of our times. Here's a snippet from "Little Red Riding Hood":

The wolf said, "You know, my dear, it isn't safe for a little girl to walk through these woods alone."

Red Riding Hood said, "I find your sexist remark offensive in the extreme, but I will ignore it because of your traditional status as an outcast from society, the stress of which has caused you to develop your own, entirely valid, worldview. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must be on my way."

Leap into a fairy-tale world where trolls are "dirt-accomplished and odor-enhanced," witches are "kindness-impaired," and Cinderella wears a gown "woven of silk stolen from unsuspecting silkworms." We can only regret that Garner had to exclude "The Duckling That Was Judged on Its Personal Merits and Not on Its Physical Appearance" for space reasons.

From the Back Cover:

Once upon a time, in the olden days, heavy-set middle-aged men would congregate in their elitist clubs, sit in over-stuffed leather chairs, smoke air-choking cigars, and pitch story ideas and plots to each other. Problem was, these stories, many of which found their way into the general social consciousness, reflected the way in which these men lived and saw their world: that is, the stories were sexist, discriminatory, unfair, culturally biased, and in general, demeaning to witches, animals, goblins, and fairies everywhere. Finally, after centuries of these abusive tales, which have been handed down - unknowingly - from one male-biased generation to the next, James Finn Garner has taken it upon himself (that's right, yet another man) to enlighten and liberate these classic bedtime stories and retell them in a way that is much more in keeping with the society in which we live today. Politically Correct Bedtime Stores, then is the fruit of Garner's labors. We'd like to think that future generations of fairy-tale fans will see this as a worthy attempt to develop meaningful literature that is totally free from bias and purged from the influences of a flawed cultural past.

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James Finn Garner
Published by Souvenir Press Ltd (1994)
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Garner, James Finn
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