Maria Tatar





Maria Tatar


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Maria Tatar is the John L. Loeb Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures. She chairs the Program in Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University. She is the author of Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood, Off with Their Heads! Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood and many other books on folklore and fairy stories. She is also the editor and translator of The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, The Annotated Brothers Grimm, The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales, The Annotated Peter Pan, The Classic Fairy Tales: A Norton Critical Edition and The Grimm Reader. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Maria Tatar isn't a Goodreads Author (yet), but she does have a blog, so here are some recent posts imported from her feed.

imagesYesterday I attended the Cambridge premier of Roger Ross Williams’ remarkable documentary Life, Animated. The film tells the story of Owen Suskind’s jailbreak–that’s pretty much how his father Ron Suskind puts it when he describes the challenges faced by two parents of getting their son back after his diagnosis of autism.


Life, Animated compresses the arduous journey into under two hours, as we...

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Average rating: 4.24 · 10,261 ratings · 611 reviews · 29 distinct works · Similar authors
The Classic Fairy Tales

4.28 avg rating — 2,080 ratings — published 1998 — 2 editions
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The Annotated Classic Fairy...

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4.38 avg rating — 987 ratings4 editions
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The Hard Facts of the Grimm...

3.90 avg rating — 286 ratings — published 1987 — 6 editions
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Enchanted Hunters: The Powe...

3.75 avg rating — 231 ratings — published 2009 — 3 editions
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Off with their heads!: fair...

3.95 avg rating — 177 ratings — published 1992 — 2 editions
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Grimm's Grimmest

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4.05 avg rating — 134 ratings
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The Grimm Reader: The Class...

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4.13 avg rating — 102 ratings — published 2010 — 3 editions
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Secrets Beyond the Door: Th...

4.18 avg rating — 61 ratings — published 2004 — 2 editions
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Lustmord: Sexual Murder in ...

3.84 avg rating — 56 ratings — published 1995 — 2 editions
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The Cambridge Companion to ...

4.17 avg rating — 6 ratings — published 2014 — 3 editions
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“It is through beauty, poetry and visionary power that the world will be renewed.”
Maria Tatar

“More effectively than any of the other tales, 'The Emperor's New Clothes' established Andersen's reputation as a man who created stories for children — not just in the sense of target audience, but also as beneficiaries of something extraordinary. The lesson embedded in it is so transparent that its title circulates in the form of proverbial wisdom about social hypocrisy. But more importantly, 'The Emperor's New Clothes' romanticizes children by investing them with the courage to challenge authority and to speak truth to power.”
Maria Tatar

“Magic happens when the wand of language strikes a stone and makes it melt, touches a spindle and turns it into gold, or taps a trunk and makes it fly. By drawing on a syntax of enchantment that conjures fluidity, ethereality, flimsiness, and transparency, writers turn solidity into resplendent airy lightness to produce miracles of linguistic transubstantiation.

What is the effect of that beauty? How do readers respond to words that create that beauty? In a world that has discredited that particular attribute and banished it from high art, beauty has nonetheless held on to its enlivening power in children's books. It draws readers in, then draws them to understand the fictional worlds it lights up.”
Maria Tatar, Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood

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