Posts Tagged Gregory Maguire
A few months back, a preview copy of Brom‘s The Child Thief: A Novel arrived at my house. As described by the publisher, Eos (An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers), the novel is “a spellbinding re-imagining of the beloved Peter Pan story that carries readers through the perilous mist separating our world from the realm of Faerie. As Gregory Maguire did with his New York Times bestselling Wicked novels, Brom takes a classic children’s tale and turns it inside-out, painting a Neverland that, like Maguire’s Oz, is darker, richer, more complex than innocent world J.M. Barrie originally conceived. An ingeniously executed literary feat, illustrated with Brom’s sumptuous artwork, The Child Thief is contemporary fantasy at its finest—casting Peter Pan, the Lost Boys, even Captain Hook and his crew in a breathtaking new light.” Brom was kind enough to do an email interview with me about the book. My thanks for his time and to HarperCollins’ Pamela Spengler-Jaffee for helping to arrange the interview.
Tim O’Shea: I minored in folklore back in college, so I know of the original unsanitized Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Is that the kind of tone, along with the “dark undertones” of Barrie’s original Peter Pan (as you referenced to it in the book’s advance press), you were aiming for in The Child Thief?
Brom: I loved the old Fairy Tales, which were usually devised as cautionary tales, stories in which bad things happened to children who didn’t listen to their elders. There is certainly plenty of those dark undertones in the Child Thief. But my real fascination lay in peeling back Jame’s Barries lyrical prose and portraying the Peter Pan story in a gritty realistic light.
O’Shea: In the back of the book you acknowledge the influence of Irish, Welsh, Scottish and English folklore on the tale. How much of the folklore did you know from growing up and how much did you learn it through research in more recent years?
Brom: I’ve always had a love of folktales, myths, and legend, so was aware of most of it. I knew I didn’t want to simply retell Barrie’s Peter Pan, but instead create my own Peter, my own world, the darker story behind the fairy tales, so I began to dig into the same myths and legends that originally inspired James Barrie himself and was delighted to find so many connections.