The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror


A collection of darkly mischievous stories based on classic fairy tales

by Daniel Mallory Ortberg

Adapted from the beloved Children’s Stories Made Horrific series, The Merry Spinster takes up the trademark wit that endeared Trans author Ortberg to readers of both The Toast and the best-selling debut Texts From Jane Eyre. The feature has become among the most popular on the site, with each entry bringing in tens of thousands of views, as the stories proved a perfect vehicle for Ortberg’s eye for deconstruction and destabilization. Sinister and inviting, familiar and alien all at the same time, The Merry Spinster updates traditional children’s stories and fairy tales with elements of psychological horror, emotional clarity, and a keen sense of feminist mischief.

Readers of The Toast will instantly recognize Ortberg’s boisterous good humor and uber-nerd swagger: those new to Ortberg’s oeuvre will delight in this collection’s unique spin on fiction, where something a bit mischievous and unsettling is always at work just beneath the surface.

Unfalteringly faithful to its beloved source material, The Merry Spinster also illuminates the unsuspected, and frequently, alarming emotional complexities at play in the stories we tell ourselves, and each other, as we tuck ourselves in for the night.

Bedtime will never be the same.

P.S. Not recommended for young children, unless your child was born with the delicious darkness and wit of this author.

Paperback | 208 pages | Holt Paperbacks; First Edition | 2018

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