Spinning Straw into Gold: What Fairy Tales Reveal About the Transformations in a Woman's Life

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9780812975451: Spinning Straw into Gold: What Fairy Tales Reveal About the Transformations in a Woman's Life
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What’s your favorite fairy tale? Whether it’s “Cinderella,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Hansel and Gretel,” or another story, your answer reveals something significant about you, your experiences, and your soul. In this penetrating book, Joan Gould brings to the surface the hidden meanings in fairy tales and myths, and illuminates what they can tell you about the stages in your own life. As Gould explores the transformations that women go through from youth to old age–leaving home and mother, the first experience of sexuality, the surprising ambivalence of marriage, the spiritual work required by menopause and aging–her keen observations will enrich your awareness of your inner life.
Full of archetypal figures known to us all, Spinning Straw into Gold also includes stories from the lives of ordinary women that clarify the insights to be gained from the beloved tales that have been handed down from one generation to the next.

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From the Inside Flap:

"What's your favorite fairy tale?" Joan Gould asks in the Introduction to this brilliantly original book about the hidden meanings in fairy tales and what these beloved stories reveal about a woman's life.
Whether your answer is "Cinderella" (most women's choice), "Hansel and Gretel," or another tale, your favorite conveys something significant about you, your experiences, and your soul- something perhaps not obvious to outsiders and possibly not entirely clear to you.
Throughout this illuminating book, Gould delves into the deeper meanings behind fairy tales and myths-helping you to understand not only what your choice of fairy tale may mean for you, but also what you need to be doing during the three main stages of development: maiden, matron, and crone.
"This is a book about women," Gould writes, "specifically about fairy tales and the way they illuminate the metamorphoses at each stage of a woman's life: those shifts in consciousness as well as biology that propel women from one level of being to another." As Gould expertly addresses the transformations many women experience-marriage, childbirth, and widowhood-her keen observations may surprise you, and it is through these revelations, that Gould truly works her magic.
The story of Sleeping Beauty allegorizes the role that waiting plays in the attainment of womanhood; "Rapunzel" illuminates a bride's ambivalence toward her impending nuptials; "The Seal Wife" acknowledges a mother's sense of loss of self to the demands of her family. Most poignantly, through the myth of Demeter and Persephone, Gould grapples with the final stage of a woman's life, the unexpected expansion of a woman's spirit in old age.
Full ofarchetypal figures known to us all, this wonderfully perceptive work is also populated with narratives from the lives of ordinary women. These personal stories- of Sleeping Beauties who fell asleep in puberty and awoke ten years later to find themselves married to the wrong man, or the right one-illustrate the rich insights that are to be gained from familiar story figures. Replete with a wealth of wisdom about the private battles and public roles each woman must face in her life, "Spinning Straw into Gold explores the choices, demands, and changes a woman must face every day.

"From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author:

Joan Gould's work has appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, Esquire, and Sports Illustrated. The author of Spirals, she lives in Rye, New York.

Joan Gould is available to speak to groups either in person, via speaker phone, or online chats. Please contact her through her website at www.joangould.com

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9780394585321: Spinning Straw into Gold: What Fairy Tales Reveal About the Transformations in a Woman's Life

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