Western Washington University Associate Professor of English Kelly Magee has published her collection of fantastical fairy tales and retellings called “The Neighborhood” through Gold Wake Press.
Magee has been working on these short stories since she was in graduate school at Ohio State University. She taught a multi-genre topics class that featured recycled writing, where students choose pieces of literature and rewrite them. Fairytales was one of the popular source genres in the course.
“It was really fun to look up the old unsanitized versions of fairytales,” Magee said. “I was reading many different types of fairytales, not just the Brothers Grimm stories but also fairytales from around the world. I couldn’t read all these fairytales without wanting to write one myself.”
As in the classic fairytales themselves, many of the characters in Magee’s stories feature bad mothers, as well as mermaids, pet wolves and more.
“I noticed that it’s always the fault of the mother and never the fault of the father. The Grimm’s stories would be rewritten to exonerate the fathers,” Magee said. “I wanted to give the voice back to the evil mothers and let them speak and tell their own stories.”
Magee, who earned a master’s degree in Fine Arts from Ohio State University, has been teaching at Western for nine years. Magee has published other books, but “The Neighborhood” has always been in the background as a side project.
“I looked at all the stories I had written as well as the new ones I had been working on since teaching the multi-genre topics class, and put all of them into a single document and said, ‘Oh wow, I think this is a book,’” Magee said.
Gold Wake Press is a small independent publisher that accepts submissions for one month out of the year. Anyone can submit their work, and Gold Wake chooses four books to publish.
Magee’s book is available at https://goldwake.com/2016/12/13/the-neighborhood/.
For more information about “The Neighborhood,” contact Kelly Magee at Kelly.Magee@wwu.edu or (360) 650-2650.