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Cinderella Liberator

Rebecca Solnit reimagines a classic fairytale with a fresh, feminist Cinderella and new plot twists that will inspire young readers to change the world.

"This is a reminder of hope and possibility, of kindness and compassion, and—perhaps most salient—imagination and liberty. Through the imaginations of our childhoods, can we find our true selves liberated in adulthood?”

—Chelsea Handler

In her debut children’s book, Rebecca Solnit reimagines a classic fairytale with a fresh, feminist Cinderella and new plot twists that will inspire young readers to change the world, featuring gorgeous silhouettes from Arthur Rackham on each page.

In this modern twist on the classic story, Cinderella, who would rather just be Ella, meets her fairy godmother, goes to a ball, and makes friends with a prince. But that is where the familiar story ends. Instead of waiting to be rescued, Cinderella learns that she can save herself and those around her by being true to herself and standing up for what she believes.

Rebecca Solnit is the author of more than twenty books including Men Explain Things to Me, Call Them by Their True Names, Hope in the Dark, and The Mother of All Questions.

Arthur Rackham (1867–1939) was a prominent British illustrator of many classic children’s books from The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm to Sleeping Beauty. His watercolor silhouettes were featured in the original edition of Cinderella.

Reviews
  • “[Solnit] recast[s] this familiar story into a tale that is fundamentally about freedom. The decision to use Arthur Rackham’s original cut-paper silhouette illustrations was a brilliant choice. This is, hands down, a wonderful book — one that even the jaded reader will clasp upon completion with a contented sigh.” New York Times 

    "Solnit retells the classic story in a way that liberates each character from the constrictions imposed upon him or her by someone else’s story and confers upon each the dignity of a complete human being with agency and autonomous dreams. Emerging from these simply worded, profound, richly rewarding pages is Solnit the literary artist, Solnit the revolutionary, Solnit the enchanter, Solnit the subtle and endlessly delightful satirist, Solnit the sage.” Brainpickings

    "This is a reminder of hope and possibility, of kindness and compassion, and—perhaps most salient—imagination and liberty. Through the imaginations of our childhoods, can we find our true selves liberated in adulthood?” —Chelsea Handler
    "Solnit is, in many ways, our fairy godmother. With the tap of her pen and fervor of her imagination, she has transformed a beloved but morally outdated classic into a powerful narrative of female agency with a moral compass we can all believe in." —Brit Marling

    "Cinderella Liberator is a stunning example of how talking lizards, cakes, misguided stepsisters, and even a prince Nevermind can reframe some of our most iconic traditional narratives, and is a beautifully refreshing wind of change in the arid desert of modern-minded children’s stories.” —Amber Heard

    "Cinderella Liberator is something I desperately wish I had read when I was a child. While so many narratives impose unhealthy expectations on children or celebrate brute strength over an open heart, Solnit, tells a new story, giving a whole new sense of agency to Cinderella. Like all of her stunning work, she celebrates the authentic self and the willingness to embrace one another, to strive for compassion, and to harness the magic of life. This is a powerful book, not only for children, but also a beautiful reminder for us all that honesty, kindness, and empathy are what will lead us to discover and connect to our true selves, not a fancy crown, not a ‘perfect’ person, and not a 'happily ever after.’”—Ellen Page

    "Sometimes real magic comes from the inside out. Cinderella Liberator stages a break-out from within the walls of old myths and stories that have kept us quiet, pretty, and well behaved, in love with gowns, shoes, and tiaras. In this phenomenal retelling, female strength erupts like quicksilver. What would the world look like if girls grew up reading fairytales made from the magic they carry inside themselves? Breathtakingly beautiful, is what.”—Lidia Yuknavich, author, The Book of Joan and The Small Backs of Children

    "An exquisite little jewel of a book, wise, witty, scathing, and humane.” —Molly Crabapple

    "Being a princess is absolutely fine if that’s what you choose. It’s having those choices taken away from you that make for big problems. Cinderella in Solnit’s book is given that choice. She’s allowed to say what her dreams are, and then she goes out and attains them. And they’re not huge ridiculous dreams but small, happy, manageable ones. Ultimately, that’s the gift Ms. Solnit is giving kids with this book.” —School Library Journal

    “Rebecca Solnit is essential feminist reading.” The New Republic

    “Rebecca Solnit is the voice of the resistance.”New York Times Magazine

    “Rebecca Solnit is a treasure.”Marketplace

Other books by Rebecca Solnit

  • City of Women Poster

    This 20" x 20" map, created by Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro and originally featured in their New York atlas Nonstop Metropolis, reimagines New York City’s subway stations named after great women.
  • City of Women Poster (10-pack)

    10-pack of the City of Women poster

    This 20” x 20” map, created by Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro and originally featured in their New York atlas Nonstop Metropolis, reimagines New York City’s subway stations named after great women.

  • Whose Story Is This?

    New feminist essays for the #MeToo era from the international best-selling author of Men Explain Things to Me and the forthcoming memoir Recollections of My Nonexistence.

  • Call Them by Their True Names

    Rebecca Solnit unearths the roots of our contemporary crises, countering the despair of our age with a dose of solidarity, creativity, and hope.
  • The Mother of All Questions

    Rebecca Solnit’s timely follow-up to her national bestseller Men Explain Things to Me offers a refreshing take on contemporary feminism.
  • Los Hombres Me Explican Cosas

    A landmark essay that went viral, inspired the word “mansplaining,” and prompted fierce arguments.
  • Hope in the Dark

    Bestselling author Rebecca Solnit reminds us that activism has changed the world in remarkable ways.
  • Men Explain Things To Me

    A landmark essay that went viral, inspired the word “mansplaining,” and prompted fierce arguments.