The name Fractured Fairy Tales was already taken. Kent author David R. Ewbank has chosen Fairy Tales for Adults to describe his stories, but Fairy Tales for Bookworms might be better; the works of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen are reimagined as if they had been written by great American authors of the past.
Inventive and sly, these stories are entertaining in several ways: First, for the remarkable precision with which Ewbank mimics the styles of the various authors, like the dialogue of gossipy aristocrats who discuss “The Princess and the Pea” (here called “Princess Viele-Matratzen”) as told by Henry James, and “Jack and the Southern Gothic Beanstalk” of William Faulkner, complete with drunken mill workers and crop failures.
Then, in some stories, there’s the fun of guessing which fairy tale is being parodied, as not all of the titles make it clear: “Leaves from an Old Mansion” in the style of Nathaniel Hawthorne goes on almost three full pages, much as Hawthorne does, before the barest hint of a plot.
Fairy Tales for Adults (201 pages, softcover) costs $15.04 from online retailers. David R. Ewbank is a retired English professor from Kent State University.
Cleveland pilot’s diary of World War I
The first half of Dave Ingalls’ war was pretty cushy. The Cleveland-born World War I flying ace was 17 and a freshman at Yale when he and about two dozen of his classmates left school to join the First Yale Unit, an early air reserve group. Ingalls’ experiences are found in Hero of the Angry Sky: The World War I Diary and Letters of David S. Ingalls, America’s First Naval Ace.
Ingalls, whose mother was a great-niece of William Howard Taft and whose father was a railroad executive, wasn’t bowled over by the Long Island estates he visited during training with his classmates; they weren’t called the “Millionaires’ Unit” for nothing.
He was more impressed with Paris, visiting the Folies Bergère and dining at Maxim’s. More training in England was offset with playing bridge, drinking tea and complaining about the weather. The education Ingalls received at Cleveland’s posh University School is evident in his articulate journal entries and letters home. “I’d rather shoot than be shot at,” he writes, and proves it in his cool accounts of dogfights in his Sopwith Camel, going on daily raids to seek out the Hun and coming back with a plane full of bullet holes.
Ingalls returned to Yale still a teenager, highly decorated, and began a lifetime of public service, including a term as Assistant Secretary of the Navy.
The book’s editor, Geoffrey Rossano, has written other books on military history, and won the 2010 Roosevelt Prize in Naval History. Hero of an Angry Sky (387 pages, hardcover) costs $28.95 from Ohio University Press.
Two upcoming author appearances require advance registration:
• At 7 p.m. March 21, Cara Black, author of the popular Paris-set Aimée Leduc Investigations mysteries, will appear at the Brecksville branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library, 9089 Brecksville Road, to promote Murder Below Montparnasse, the 13th installment in the series.
• Daniel Handler, better known as Lemony Snicket, author of the Series of Unfortunate Events children’s books, and Jon Klassen, winner of the 2013 Caldecott Medal for the picture book This Is Not My Hat, will appear from 7 to 9 p.m. April 3 at Berea High School, 165 E. Bagley Road, to promote their new picture book The Dark. Register for both at cuyahogalibrary.org.
Reed Memorial Library (167 E. Main St., Ravenna) — Author Mindy Killgrove discusses her contemporary romance Meet Me at the Pond, 2 p.m. today.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Brecksville branch, 9089 Brecksville Road) — Sandra J. Philipson signs her Max & Annie children’s books, about her spaniels, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday. Registration requested; call 440-526-1102.
Hudson Library & Historical Society (96 Library St.) — Tallmadge author Amanda Flower signs A Plain Scandal, second in her Appleseed Creek mystery series, 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Learned Owl Book Shop (204 N. Main St., Hudson) — Akron native Michael Buckley, author of the NERDS and Sisters Grimm series (The Council of Mirrors is the ninth and final book in the Grimm series), signs his work, 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Akron-Summit County Public Library (Nordonia branch, 9458 Olde Eight Road, Northfield) — Diane Stresing talks about writing 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Cleveland, 7 p.m. Wednesday. Registration requested; call 330-467-8595.
Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library (Coventry branch, 1826 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights) — Panelists Marian Morton (Cleveland Heights: The Making of an Urban Suburb), Bottom Dog Press publisher Larry Smith and Anne Trubek, co-editor (with Richie Piiparinen) of Rust Belt Chic: The Cleveland Anthology discuss “Cleveland in Fiction,” 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Cleveland Public Library (325 Superior Ave.) — Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior, speaks at 2 p.m. Saturday.
— Barbara McIntyre
Special to the Beacon Journal
Send information about books of local interest to Lynne Sherwin, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Event notices should be sent at least two weeks in advance.