|Australian fantasy author Isobelle Carmody has a new book out titled Metro Winds. This is a collection of short stories and features a series of takes on traditional fairy tales. The author spoke to Samantha Selinger-Morris for "The Age":|
Why, you wonder, has Carmody taken a proverbial shredder to the usual fantasy archetypes and instead dragged her otherworldly characters through the dross of ordinary life?
''Because I think there's this perception that fantasy and fairytales don't have anything to say about life,'' says Carmody, one of Australia's most successful fantasy writers. ''And the thing is, fairytales were once a very gritty way for people to dialogue about aspects of life. Once upon a time, if you wanted to talk about the notion of child abandonment, of a mother not being a good mother, that's built into the mother who sends the babes into the woods and they use the bits of bread or stones to come home again. [These stories were] a way of looking at these possibilities that you didn't talk about.
''I don't believe in fairies floating around and I don't believe in telepathy but there are things I want to say that just simple real-life stories don't let me say.''
The key to why Carmody would turn to fairytales to explore real-life heartache lies with the author's childhood. Her upbringing has many of the markings of a tale by the Brothers Grimm.