Fairy Tales Gone Bad: An Excerpt from ‘Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses’


Once upon a time, there was a strung-out match girl who sold CDs to stoners. Twelve impetuous sisters escaped King Daddy’s clutches to jiggle and cavort and wear out their shoes. A fickle Thumbelina searched for a tiny husband, leaving bodies in her wake. And Little Red Riding Hood confessed that she kind of wanted to know what it’s like to be swallowed whole. From bloodied and blinded stepsisters (they were duped) to a chopped-off finger flying into a heroine’s cleavage, this is fairy tale world turned upside down. Ron Koertge knows what really happened to all those wolves and maidens, ogres and orphans, kings and piglets, and he knows about the Ever After. So come closer
— he wants to whisper in your ear.

Ron Koertge is a two-time winner of the PEN Literary Award for Children’s Literature and the author of many novels. His newest novel is a dark YA look at the darker side of classic fairy tales. He has teamed up with artist Andrea Dezsö to visually present these stories.

The writer and illustrator have shared three of the short tales with Publishers Weekly, which you can read by clicking on this link.

Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses will be released Tuesday, July 10.


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