Margo Lanagan blog tour and contest.

Today’s post comes from Margo Lanagan, author of Tender Morsels, a retelling of Snow White and Rose Red, which I reviewed last year and which was a Printz Honor book. Tender Morsels is now out in paperback. Be sure to read all the way to the end so you can find out how you can win a copy!

One of the beauties of blog touring is being pointed to new blogs. Go over there and make merry, says Kathy of Random House, and off I go and explore Kari’s blog here, read all about her, and soon she’s set off enough sparks for me to feel less like an interloper and more like someone jumping up and down in Kari’s peripheral vision, saying “Me too, me too!”

So, here are three things I want to chime in with.

First thing. Like Kari, I’m not a big jewellery gal. But I resolved a few years ago that I would buy myself a ring, which I would wear all the time on my right-hand ring finger to remind myself to look after myself and to treat myself well. So I’ve been mildly on the lookout for the right ring for a while now.

Well, reader, I found it: Here it is. It’s not the splashiest ring in the world, but it says the right things to me; also, with the leaves, it’s even more appropriate for the author of a forest-y book like Tender Morsels to wear, no?

I have it now, and I wear it every day, and it does its job wonderfully well. Only problem? My arms are not long enough. If I want to actually see the leaves, I have to put my reading-glasses on. So sometimes the general emanations from this ring, although gleaming and cheering, are distinctly fuzzy.

Second thing. I think stuffing things with paper airplanes is a grand and noble endeavour. I like the way people will do this kind of thing for our own amusement, will go to the bother of turning an in-joke into a tiny monument to the power of joking itself. I can’t imagine anyone who knew this story looking at that lantern-with-airplanes and not wanting to laugh.

Third thing. Rootling around on Kari’s blog, I found this:“But waiting for birth, waiting for death—these are lightning times when the normal distractions of life have lost their power to take us away from—“ well, being a long-lapsed Catholic I probably wouldn’t quite phrase it Kari’s way and say “from God’s call to center in Christ”, but I’d certainly say “from elemental things”.

I remember when all our friends were having babies, how when you heard the news that someone was in labour, the whole world seemed to turn soft, different, poised, holding its breath, ready to change shape to accommodate the new baby. I remember when our boys were born, how the room seemed suddenly crammed full of their themness. The air seemed to change as they arrived, and it was more than just relief that they were here and whole, and that the labouring was almost over. It was the sort of experience when suddenly those Bible stories make sense, the ones about the Spirit of God arriving and, for example, hovering over everyone’s heads as tongues of fire.

Last week in Wellington, New Zealand, I visited the house where the writer Katherine Mansfield was born. I stood in the Birth Room, with the sound from the video documentary in the room next door booming through the wall. I didn’t get the hairs rising on the back of my neck or anything, but I had the equipment now (as I didn’t have when I first read Katherine Mansfield) to imagine baby Katherine’s arrival in this room, that weird mix of domestic mess and sacredness that hangs about a birth. This was the space that her new self (not even named Katherine yet) rushed out and first filled.

Nothing’s just wood, is it? Nothing’s just ceiling-boards and wallpaper. Nothing’s just a bit of metal or some paper planes stuffed into a lamp. Not when there’s a human mind around, ready to read meaning into it, ready to imagine the people around its creation, and wonder about them.

Many thanks to Margo for starting her tour here. Here are the rest of her tour dates and blogs:

Tuesday, March 23rd: Steph Su Reads
Wednesday, March 24th: Bildungsroman
Thursday, March 25th: Cynsations
Friday, March 26th: The Story Siren
Saturday, March 27th: Shaken & Stirred

I have three copies of Tender Morsels available. To enter to win, please tell me in the comments what your favorite fairy tale retelling is OR what story you would like to see retold. (I love retellings of classic tales, so I am always looking for more suggestions. One of my favorites is Beauty by Robin McKinley.) You can also tweet about the contest or post a link on your blog for extra entries – indicate those in the comments and I will get you entered more than once. Tender Morsels is a gorgeous book, and I would love to get it in the hands of more people who are interested!

ETA: Forgot to put a deadline on the contest! D’oh! Entries will close on April 3rd at midnight.

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  1. By uberVU - social comments on 3/22/2010 at

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by margolanagan: This week I’m blog touring! First up, I muse over at Through A Glass Darkly:

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Charles Tan, Random House Kids, AurealisXpress, Andrea Svendsen, thestorysiren and others. thestorysiren said: RT @randomhousekids: Printz-Honor winner Margo Lanagan is doing a blog tour! Here's her 1st stop […]


  1. Laura

    I had this really beautiful Grimm’s fairytales book that I read growing up and the story I always came back to was “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” Apparently Barbie has redone it recently but I can’t say that I’ve seen it.

    Posted 3/22/2010 at | Permalink
  2. Oh! I haven’t heard of this one and it looks amazing. I’ll have to check it out regardless.

    It’s not exactly a fairy tale, but I recently was talking about Brom’s Peter Pan retelling and how much I loved it. Dark and creepy, but definitely interesting and a ton of fun to read.

    Other than that, I think my favorite re-tellings are Cinderella ones – and there aren’t enough of them in my opinion!

    Posted 3/22/2010 at | Permalink
  3. Here’s my tweet:

    Linked you on my sidebar =)

    Posted 3/22/2010 at | Permalink
  4. Pip

    My favourite fairy-tale retelling, so far, was the one that met me when I got home from university a couple of weeks ago. My three year old and her father performed a slightly rehearsed, slightly improvised version of Sleeping Beauty in our front room for me. Tallulah played the part of Sleeping Beauty and Brent played all the other parts. Tallulah had great commitment to the role, only peaking a couple of times out of the corner of squinty trying-to-stay-shut eyes. I love getting Tallulah to tell me fairy-tales it’s so interesting to see what she thinks are the important bits. For instant, according to Tallulah, The Little Mermaid’s main motivation for getting legs appears to be so she can ride a bike. It’s a feminist re-writing I reckon.

    Posted 3/22/2010 at | Permalink
  5. Torn between The Werewolf by Angela Carter and Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman.

    The Werewolf because I see the ending as open; either Granny is the wolf all along, or Little Red Riding Hood portrays pure excellence in cunning and entrepreneurship by using the superstition of her neighbours to advantage. (The story is only two pages long and, as with all Carter stories, is steeped in description).

    Snow, Glass, Apples because the Prince’s inclination should have been obvious all along (what kind of person falls in love with a corpse?) but I was surprised.

    Both dark and glorious stories.

    Posted 3/22/2010 at | Permalink
  6. I’d love for ‘The little mermaid’ to be retold… a group of my friends and myself have an itty bitty obsession with the movie and everything surrounding any Disney princess x)! *And one of Ariel’s sisters is named Alana =D*

    i’m linking this post on my blog sidebar:

    *fingers crossed!*

    Posted 3/23/2010 at | Permalink
  7. karen

    The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Jeanette Winterson…I love fairy tales…loved them as a child…. the darker the better…I know Alice in Wonderland isn’t strictly a fairy tale in the tradition but I love the new film adaptation….and also the version by Jan Svankmeyer…

    Ooooh, it’s dark outside…

    Posted 3/25/2010 at | Permalink
  8. I loved Tender Morsels – I gave it a rare 5 stars and blogged my review

    My next fairytale retelling reading (I think) will be Beauty by Sherri Tepper… I hope I love it as much as I did Tender Morsels. It would be interesting to compare it to McKinleys’s book as well.

    I am also not a big jewelry gal. Just gets in the way. 🙂

    Posted 3/26/2010 at | Permalink
  9. karenk

    i have always been a big fan of ‘cinderella’.

    Posted 3/29/2010 at | Permalink
  10. “Nothing’s just ceiling-boards and wallpaper. Nothing’s just a bit of metal or some paper planes stuffed into a lamp. Not when there’s a human mind around, ready to read meaning into it, ready to imagine the people around its creation, and wonder about them.”
    i find this peace just brilliant.
    best regards Ruth

    Posted 7/25/2010 at | Permalink

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