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Synopsis

'She turned into a frog, into a lizard, into all kinds of other reptiles and then into a spindle'

In these tales, young women go on long and difficult quests, wicked stepmothers turn children into geese and tsars ask dangerous riddles, with help or hindrance from magical dolls, cannibal witches, talking skulls, stolen wives, and brothers disguised as wise birds. Half the tales here are true oral tales, collected by folklorists during the last two centuries, while the others are reworkings of oral tales by four great Russian writers: Alexander Pushkin, Nadezhda Teffi, Pavel Bazhov and Andrey Platonov.

In his introduction to these new translations, Robert Chandler writes about the primitive magic inherent in these tales and the taboos around them, while in the afterword, Sibelan Forrester discusses the witch Baba Yaga. This edition also includes an appendix, bibliography and notes.

Translated by Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler

With Sibelan Forrester, Anna Gunin and Olga Meerson

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