- Rags and Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales ed. by Melissa Marr
A glittering cast of YA authors and one beloved illustrator, Charles Vess, bend and blend the traditional and the contemporary to sometimes dazzling effect in these twelve original tales and six illustrations inspired by literary classics. In Melissa Marr’s capable hands, Kate Chopin’s Edna (from The Awakening) becomes a selchie; in Neil Gaiman’s entry, Snow White leads several of her dwarves on a quest to liberate a sleeping princess and herself. Rick Yancey traces the tragedy of humans attempting to play God through his reinterpretation of Hawthorne’s “The Birth-Mark” in a haunting posthuman fantasy, while Carrie Ryan engages a different type of dystopian religious cli-fi vision that echoes Forster’s “The Machine Stops.” Classic horror inspires many of the authors, while others are captivated by fairy tales and more involved fantasies, such as Spenser’s The Faerie Queene. The plot “skeletons” were chosen by their authors for reasons they articulate in post-story notes, but really, there are no rags and bones here; each of these stories and illustrations is sumptuously clothed and fully fleshed out, so that readers will not need [End Page 224] to be familiar with the originals to enjoy the newly imagined versions. However, enterprising educators will want to make the originals available alongside, if for no other reason than to show readers what is possible through creative revision.