Olga Grushin Charms Again: Fiction Preview, Jan. 2021, Pt. 5 | Prepub Alert

The author of The Dream Life of Sukhanov offers a revisionist fairy tale.

Grushin, Olga. The Charmed Wife. Putnam. Jan. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9780593085509. $27. Downloadable. LITERARY/FAIRY TALES

Winner of the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award and a Granta’s Best of cover of Grushin's The Charmed WifeYoung American Novelists honoree, Russian-born, Washington, DC–based Grushin offered acute insight into life in Soviet Russia in her singularly absorbing debut, The Dream Life of Sukhanov, and its excellent follow-up, The Line. Forty Rooms was an intriguing departure, investigating the life and disappointments of its female protagonist over decades as she moved through various domestic spaces. The protagonist of Grushin's latest novel is another disappointed woman—Cinderella herself, the presumed embodiment of happily ever after. But after 13 and a half years and two children, Cinderella is no longer so charmed by her prince and sneaks out of the palace one night to find a witch famed for her love potions. But what kind of potion does she really want the witch to brew? Twisty revisionist fairy tales are popular, especially when told from the uncommon female perspective, and Grushin should be able to make this work for readers of literary and popular fiction alike.

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Book Review; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president of the National Book Critics Circle, to which she has just been reelected.

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