Michael Cunningham: A Wild Swan: Fairy Tales Reimagined

In conversation with Aimee Bender
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Episode Summary

A poisoned apple and a monkey’s paw with the power to change fate; a girl whose extraordinarily long hair causes catastrophe; a man with one human arm and one swan’s wing; and a house deep in the forest, constructed of gumdrops and gingerbread, vanilla frosting and boiled sugar. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours transforms the mythic figures of our childhood in his newest work, A Wild Swan and Other Tales. Cunningham discusses bringing to life these never-before-told moments of beloved fairy tales with the ever-imaginative novelist Aimee Bender. Join us for an enchanting evening of reimagined—and sometimes darkly perverse—bedtime stories with two of today’s most gifted storytellers.

Participant(s) Bio

Michael Cunningham is the author of seven novels, including A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood, The Hours (winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize), Specimen Days, and By Nightfall, as well as Land’s End: A Walk in Provincetown. He lives in New York.

Aimee Bender is author of The Girl in the Flammable Skirt (NY Times Notable Book), An Invisible Sign of My Own (LA Times Pick of the Year), Willful Creatures (The Believer’s “Best Books of the Year”), The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (SCIBA Award, Alex Award), and The Color Master (NY Times Notable Book). Her short fiction has been published in Granta, GQ, Harper’s, Tin House, McSweeney’s, The Paris Review, and has been heard on PRI’s “This American Life” and “Selected Shorts.” She has received two Pushcart Prizes as well as nominations for the TipTree Award and the Shirley Jackson Award. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches creative writing at USC.