About the Books
“Among the few indispensable, common-property books upon which Western culture can be founded . . . it should be, first and foremost, an educational ‘must’ for adults.”—W. H. Auden, The New York Times “The one book—other than the Bible—that has truly made Western man.”—The New Republic “It doesn’t feel like a warning to naughty infants. It feels like a glimpse of the dreadful side of the nature of things.”—A. S. Byatt on “The Juniper Tree” “In truth, most of the Grimms’ tales cannot be made wholly respectable. . . . Even people who have never known hunger, let alone a murderous stepmother, still have a sense—from dreams, from news broadcasts—of utter blackness, the erasure of safety and comfort and trust. Fairy tales tell us that such knowledge, or fear, is not fantastic but realistic. Though Wilhelm tried to Christianize the tales, they still invoke nature, more than God, as life’s driving force, and nature is not kind.”—Joan Acocella, The New Yorker This new edition and translation of the darkest tales of the Brothers Grimm selected and translated by Peter Wortsman with full-color illustrations by Haitian artists Edouard Duval-Carrié, Pascale Monnin, and Frankétienne restores the visceral edge and violence of these enigmatic narratives, and will include a few of Grimms’ oft-neglected, grislier tales, including “The Juniper Tree.” Jakob Karl Grimm was born in 1785 in Hanau, Germany. His brother, Wilhelm Karl Grimm, followed in 1786. As court librarians, linguists, scholars, translators, and writers, they collected stories told by peasants and villagers and published them in written form, shaping the foundation of the most popular children’s stories today. For most of their lives, they worked in the same room, at facing desks. Peter Wortsman, recipient of the Beard’s Fund Short Story Award, was selected as a 2010 Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin.