Saturday, December 31, 2016

When I Lay Frozen, by Margo Lanagan

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(Fairy Tale) Tommelise really doesn’t want to marry Mr. Muldvarp, the mole, but she feels beholden to Mrs. Markmusen, the mousewife who has cared for her all winter and who insists it’s a good match. (5,427 words; Time: 18m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"When I Lay Frozen," by (edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: This story retells a part of Thumbelina by Hans Christian Andersen.

The Danish title was Tommelise, and lots of Danish words appear in text: Markmus is “field mouse,” Edderkop is “spider,” Muldvarp is “mole,” and Svale is “swallow.”

Con: Tommelise isn’t much of a protagonist. She knows what she wants to do, but she’s too weak to do it on her own, and eventually she’s saved by Ms. Svale. And what’s the point of the explicit sex scene right at the beginning?

I did not at first recognize the tale as “Thumbelina” and was confused when Ms. Svale called Tommelise “little glowworm.” From there to the end of the story, I visualized her as a carnivorous larva.

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