Up from the Ashes
Ash, by Malinda Lo
Jeanette Winterson, describes her book Weight, which re-members the myth of Atlas in this way:
My work is full of Cover Versions. I like to take stories we think we know and record them differently. In the re-telling comes a new emphasis or bias, and the new arrangement of the key elements demands that fresh material be injected into the existing text.
And so has Lo re-rendered Cinderella, inserting Artemis (in the form of Kaisa, the King’s Huntress) to offer our protagonist an option not often surfaced in our majority-first culture. Ash, the lead character, has the inner strength to provide readers of all inclinations a non-judgmental view of the potential alternatives available to the young women of her day. She sees, for example, the happiness open to the working class as well as the oppression. Hopefully this open approach can be mirrored by the librarians, teachers and parents who make book suggestions for young people. Yes, for those questioning their own sexuality, or already certain that heterosexuality is not for them, this can be a compassionate myth to embrace. That doesn’t make it any less compelling of a read for those who don’t personally wrestle with that particular difference in their lives.