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  • Folktales and Fairy Tales: Traditions and Texts from Around the Worlded. by Anne E. Duggan and Donald Haase
  • Carmen Nolte-Odhiambo (bio)
Folktales and Fairy Tales: Traditions and Texts from Around the World, 2nd ed. Edited by Anne E. Duggan and Donald Haase, with Helen J. Callow. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2016. Four volumes: 388 pp., 364pp., 376pp., 462pp.

Edited by leading fairy-tale scholars Anne E. Duggan and Donald Haase, Folktales and Fairy Tales: Traditions and Texts from Around the Worldis a well-organized, wide-ranging, and near-comprehensive reference work of remarkable breadth and depth. Like its three-volume predecessor, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales, published in 2008, this compendium addresses a broad audience composed not only of scholars and specialists but also of students and novices, catering to a large variety of research interests as well as levels of expertise. As such, Folktales and Fairy Tales“strives to offer a rich and representative overview of an infinitely diverse worldwide phenomenon, to encourage exploration beyond each reader’s individual realm of experience and expertise, and to promote thinking, reading, writing, and discussion about folktales and fairy tales across disciplinary boundaries” (1: xxxvii). Particularly noteworthy is, indeed, the collection’s global and multidisciplinary scope, as it brings together detailed entries on tales, traditions, and notable individuals from around the world, written from the diverse perspectives of more than 150 contributors working in the fields of folklore, anthropology, ethnology, children’s literature, film, and literary and cultural studies. Folktales and fairy tales are here conceived of not as static and fixed but rather as flexible; [End Page 416]hence entries also discuss related genres, such as the epic or the legend, and a wide range of media, intertextualities, and titles. This updated and expanded second edition reflects the popularity of folktales and fairy tales and their pervasiveness across a variety of media and geographic-cultural locations. The more than 100 new entries, primarily on international traditions and twenty-first-century tales, further augment the encyclopedia’s broad scope, and the additional fourth volume complements the entries through a selection of texts, excerpts, and commentaries. Folktales and Fairy Talesfeatures nearly 800 encyclopedic entries altogether, a comprehensive introduction that contextualizes the discipline of folktale and fairy-tale studies, and an extensive bibliography and list of resources.

The first pages of each volume present the table of contents for the entire work, as well as a guide to related topics that groups entries into the following nine categories, which speak to the collection’s broad and far-ranging scope: critical terms, concepts, and approaches; cultural/national/regional/linguistic groups; eras, periods, movements, and other contexts; genres; individuals (such as authors, filmmakers, and illustrators); media, performance, and other cultural forms; motifs, themes, characters, tales, and tale types; television, film, animation, and video; and titles. Each of the alphabetically organized, signed entries, which showcase multi- and interdisciplinary approaches, contains cross-references to related topics in boldface, a “See Also” section following the entry where appropriate, and a list of further readings that is not limited to printed books and articles but also refers users to online and visual resources. Readers who follow the boldface or “See Also” cross-references down the proverbial rabbit hole will enter a world full of fascinating connections between individual creators, geographic regions, time periods, media, and genres. Although the entries use a scholarly tone, they are written in accessible rather than technical language that will appeal to a broad range of readers. Black-and-white images accompany many of the entries and range from author photographs and reproductions of tale illustrations to film stills and paintings. Even as this reference work remains necessarily finite and cannot address every distinct tale or tradition, the entries cover an extraordinary historical, geographic, cultural, topical, and disciplinary range, which sets Folktales and Fairy Talesapart from other English-language collections that focus on the European and North American traditions. Entries on individual writers, filmmakers, and illustrators, for instance, discuss both those who have attained international acclaim and canonization and those who have been underrepresented or overlooked in a global context. Readers will thus find entries on...


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