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A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  4,477 ratings  ·  1,149 reviews
Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings. These are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries.

Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionat
ebook, 336 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Greenwillow Books
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Maggie May It does. After each story the myth is named and the authors write a little synopsis of the original myth and something about why they chose to adapt i…moreIt does. After each story the myth is named and the authors write a little synopsis of the original myth and something about why they chose to adapt it. (less)

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Emily May
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely one of the better YA short story collections I have read. As with all anthologies, some stories are much stronger than others, but I enjoyed far more than I disliked. Plus, it was just so great to see the exploration of mythologies we don’t often see in the mainstream. My average rating over the fifteen stories was 3.7.

A few years ago, collections like these might have just been a way for me to go on some literary tourism of other cultures, but it's now very important to me on

ARC provided by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.

This is the anthology I’ve been waiting my entire life for. As a Filipina woman, I have no words to express how happy my heart is to just read a collection of short stories that are all ownvoices. And at the end of each short story is an author note on why they wrote the story that they did. And, I think I cried reading at least 75% of the author’s notes. This anthology is so beautiful, so powerful, and it means more to me than I hav
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i have always actively avoided anthologies because short stories have never been my thing - im definitely the kind of reader who needs more than 30 pages to form a connection. buuuut, im interested in asian culture and i adore mythology, so i gave in and decided to give this a try.

overall, this wasnt as rough as i thought it would be. there are obviously some stories i enjoyed more than others, especially if i have read something by the author before. i do like being exposed to new myths and le
Amalia Gkavea
This is a collection I couldn’t wait to start. When I was about eight years old, my grandma bought me a volume of Asian Folk Tales and thus, she opened a window to a world that was exotic, mysterious, a land of fairytale to my young mind. This was the beginning of my fascination with Asian cultures, especially the ones found in India and China. I thought that this collection, edited by Ellen Oh, would feel like a magic carpet to the lands that seem so distant, hidden, often misunderstood. Alas, ...more
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed most of the short stories & this was definitely my favourite anthology I've ever read. My absolute favourite was 'The Land of the Morning Calm' by E.C. Myers (based on Korean mythology). My heart 💕 ...more
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
We would have been overjoyed to have found this anthology, filled with characters with skin and hair and names more like ours, in our beloved libraries. It’s the book that was missing in our lives for far too long.

I have been so excited about this collection ever since I first heard about it. Ellen Oh is a wonderful woman (you may know her as one of the co-founders of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement!), and I knew that her co-editing efforts would lend to a perfectly wonderful anthology. I
May 20, 2019 rated it liked it
While I appreciate the book's endeavor to promote more diversity and Asian stories in literature (especially with the cultural diversity of different Asian ethnicities featured), the anthology falls under the same issue that most do with many of the stories being quite forgettable or not as well written. I thought the second half was much stronger than the first, which goes to show the inconsistency of quality. My particular favorites were Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia, The Smile by Aisha Said, ...more
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, 2019-read

I actually loved almost every single story in here. The only reason I’m knocking it down a half point was because there were a couple that just weren’t my cup of tea 🤷🏼‍♀️ but if all anthologies could be as good as this one, I’d read many many more!!
Hannah Greendale
DNF at 48%.

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is a collection of short stories that re-imagine South and East Asian myths, penned by fifteen authors tasked with representing their culture. While the myths themselves are interesting, the re-tellings lack sparkle. Halfway through the book, the only alluring tale is found in its opening pages: 'Forbidden Fruit' by Roshani Chokshi. Chokshi conveys a bittersweet tale of love and heartache with colorful prose, though the moral of the story is delivere
Natalie Monroe
3.75 stars

I requested A Thousand Beginnings and Endings for one reason and one reason only: Julie Kagawa. Her Talon series crashed and burned, she'll always have a special place in my heart due to The Iron Fey series. To my surprise, I found myself enjoying the other stories just as much, some even more.

Anthologies are always a bit of a mixed bag, so I'm going to review them individually:

Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi — 5 stars

“Do not trust the fruit of Maria Makiling.”

Alright, I didn'
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-releases
5 stars. My heart is full. Special shout-out to the South Asian stories, including Sona Charaipotra's, Aisha Saeed's, Preeti Chhibber's, Rahul Kanakia's, and Shveta Thakrar's. <3 All of the stories in this anthology are lovely, but I have to especially appreciate the South Asian ones. =)

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Rating: 5 stars
Source: Review copy sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goo
lily ☁️
i thought it was high time for me to get back into short stories, so here we are!

1. forbidden fruit by roshani chokshi — ★★★½
based on a Filipino myth of maria makiling; roshani chokshi’s writing is so immersive, i almost wish this could have been longer (and could have ended in a way that didn’t have my heart weep in misery).

2. olivia’s table by alyssa wong — ★★★★
based on a traditional Chinese festival 盂蘭盆節; a beautifully written and heartbreakingly tender story.

3. steel skin by lori
joanna ☽ the little brown fairy
as in filipino
like me!!!!
i am crying actual tears of joy right now! i've never felt truly represented in any books before and this feels like such a huge step. i love the publishing industry. i love everyone. if you're reading this, i love you

so guess what i'm reading next
Sara (sarawithoutanH)
Reading anthologies is always an iffy experience for me. I just can’t seem to enjoy them as much as I like traditional novels. My ratings for anthologies almost always sit around three stars. I loved the inspiration for this anthology, but I didn’t enjoy all of the writing. This is definitely a five stars for rep but three stars for the actual stories situation. My favorite part was the authors' notes after each story explaining the myth/folklore that inspired their tales. I could read those in- ...more
Elle (ellexamines)
Nov 05, 2017 marked it as on-arc-shelf
reimagined South Asian folklore! also, anthology! also, what if this cover just murdered me, right where I stand

fifteen stories
→Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi←
→Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong←
→Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee←
→Still Star-Crossed by Soman Charaipotra←
→The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliette De Bodard←
→The Land of the Morning Calm by E. C. Meyers←
→The Smile by Aisha Saeed←
→Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber←
→Nothing Into All by
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
My full review can be found on my, The Quiet Pond.

Reading A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is, quite frankly, a dream come true for me.

Growing up, I never read mythology or stories about my culture - apart from the occasional viewing of Sun Wukong or Mulan. So, not only was reading this anthology validating, it was also gave me a sense of relief because, with this book, Asian teenagers, adults, and children alike will be able to read stories about them and that have characters that are like the
Delirious Disquisitions
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is a collection of short stories or retelling of lesser known Asian folktales and mythologies. Written by Asian writers, the stories cover a wide variety of genres such as sci-fi, fantasy, horror, etc. Each story in the collection is distinctive in the writer’s style and take on a particular tale. But there is also an overall theme of loneliness, melancholy, identity crisis, filial piety, and morality connecting these stories. I had a hard time reading through t ...more
3.75 stars
This was a lovely anthology! It’s not often that you see Asian characters in YA fantasy, and I’m glad more and more diverse books are emerging.

I am Asian myself and seeing my culture’s folklore being retold in a YA anthology made me so happy. I enjoyed most of the stories but I did find some average and forgettable (and even too short). Each story was whimsical and mysterious, with an eerie undertone. I was entranced and captivated throughout.
Overall, this was a breath of fresh air and
Ellen Oh, author and founder of We Need Diverse Books, and Elsie Chapman, author, are the editors of this anthology of young adult short-story/retellings of Asian folk tales. The authors are either from, or are second-generation Americans whose parents hale from, Japan, the Philippines, China, India, Korea, or Vietnam. Following each story is a short essay penned by the applicable author in which she identifies and explains the folk tale or story upon which her contemporary retelling is based. I ...more
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every story was absolutely amazing.

These are the stories of my childhood, the stories that are rarely explored in Young Adult fiction.

15 short stories, 15 #ownvoices reads...

From mountain spirits to mischievous devils to ancestral ghosts, each story brings alive a vastly unique and refreshing folklore dug from the roots of Asia. Each author adds a short explanation of the original story and why they chose to write what they did at the very end. The settings also range from present-day America t
Jun 06, 2018 marked it as to-read
"Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings. These are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries."

Short stories written by authors of Asian descent that are based on East and South Asian mythology and folklore?



A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is a collection of fifteen magical tales based on East and South Asian myths and folklore. Halfway through the second story, I realized that I had read this anthology before and completely forgotten about it.

Forbidden Fruit - 4 stars

“It was an ill-fated thing to claim that a heart is safe. Hearts are rebellious. The moment they feel trapped, they will strain against their bindings.”

This was a solid start to this anthology, with lush writing and a melancholy
julianna ➹
if this cover came up to me and just 👊 👊 🤛 i would let it. (also the cover depicts illustrations from specific stories !! that's so COOL)

average rating: 3.33

favorite story: The Counting of Vermillion Beads!!! e.c. meyers i'll be on the LOOKOUT FOR YOU

overall thoughts: honestly i feel like the majority of these stories don't feel fulfilling as stories, and rather read as compacted versions of Larger Tales, but i still nevertheless enjoyed them! also think that a lot of these would benefit from Sa
Caz (littlebookowl)
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
Rating: 3.5 stars

As I often find with anthologies, there are stories I love and others I didn't care for quite as much. Overall enjoyed, but my rating is an average of my enjoyments across every story.
Nemo (The Moonlight Library)
This review was originally posted on The Moonlight Library

I was really interested in reading this book because of #weneeddiversebooks and #ownvoices, so when the audiobook came up as available at my local library, I pounced.

It’s really hard to review an anthology as a whole, but here goes:

Most of the stories were phenomenal. Not only because they were taking stories I was unfamiliar with, but because you can identify elements of Western fairytales in them as well with common themes among all cul
The Nerd Daily
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Nathalie DeFelice

It’s rare to see Asian characters in YA fantasy. Like in TV, characters of colour are often cast as side characters, or placed in roles easily forgotten, but young adult authors are changing the game, and one of their responses to this is A Thousand Beginnings and Endings. Edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, they feature fifteen stories told by various young adult authors concerning folktales, myths, and legends of Asian roots
Nicay (dearnicay)
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Review also posted HERE

I don’t remember when the last time I read an anthology book, and I think that last time made me realize that anthologies were not my cup of tea. But, as I saw the synopsis of this book, it made me think again that “I will try this time.”

And then I’m happy to announce that from the first story of this book made me continue to read it until the very end. I enjoyed every story and myths in every part of the world. Those stories want to convey that myths were not meant to be
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Feb 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
There were some really good ones. There were some really creepy ones. Aka the one where the mom is stuck in a video game. And then there were some bland and boring ones
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings. These are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries. Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.

The short review...

Upfront... I'm not a fan of short stories... I ADORE
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
Average rating 3.67 stars
“I finally know how it ends.”
I love anthologies and mythology-based stories, so when I heard of A Thousand Beginnings and Endings - an anthology filled with own voices mythology retellings by South and East Asian Authors - it became on of my most anticipated releases of the year. These stories were all so beautifully crafted and utterly captivating. It confirmed my love for a few authors, and introduced me to some who I desperately want to read more from. Thi
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Ellen Oh is a former adjunct college instructor and lawyer with an insatiable curiosity for ancient Asian history. She loves martial arts films, K-pop, K-dramas, and cooking shows, and is a rabid fan of the Last Airbender and the Legend of Korra series. Ellen is the co-founder of We Need Diverse Books (WNDB), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing diversity in children’s literature. Ori ...more

Articles featuring this book

  Ellen Oh is an award-winning author of middle grade and young adult novels such as Spirit Hunters, The Dragon Egg Princess, and A Thousand...
75 likes · 10 comments
“I am left with pieces of remembering though I loved him whole.” 7 likes
“It was an ill-fated thing to claim that a heart is safe. Hearts are rebellious. The moment they feel trapped, they will strain against their bindings. And it was so with the Mountain.” 6 likes
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