•  
  •  
 

Abstract

Though fairy-tale retellings by women writers are noted for their usefulness in reinventing femininity, men have also begun to use the form to redefine masculinity. Looking at Michael Cunningham’s 2015 collection A Wild Swan and Other Tales in conjunction with other recent fairy-tale versions from literature, drama, and dance, this essay examines the way male writers use traditional characters and plots to challenge what R. W. Connell terms hegemonic masculinity. Drawing on motifs from the Grimms, Hans Christian Andersen, and other sources, Cunningham and his contemporaries create character types that evade cultural norms and offer alternative ways to be a man.

COinS