Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel aged seven, and has now sold more than a million copies around the world. Her novels include The Beast’s Garden, a retelling of ‘Beauty & the Beast’ set in the underground resistance to Hitler in Nazi Germany; The Wild Girl, the story of the forbidden romance behind the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales; and Bitter Greens, a retelling of Rapunzel interwoven with the true life story of the woman who wrote the tale, which won the 2015 American Library Association Award for Best Historical Fiction. Kate’s children’s novels include The Impossible Quest, The Puzzle Ring and The Gypsy Crown. Named one of Australia’s Favourite 15 Novelists, Kate has a doctorate in fairy tale studies and is an accredited master storyteller.
Your most recent book comes from your research into the fairytale of Rapunzel, and connects to your wonderful novel Bitter Greens. What was it like to prepare The Rebirth of Rapunzel for a general audience, rather than an academic one? Do you feel like you’ve got Rapunzel out from under your skin now, having spent so long thinking about her?
It was great fun putting THE REBIRTH OF RAPUNZEL together. I included my doctoral thesis, which examined my long-held fascination with ‘Rapunzel’ and how I used it to write Bitter Greens, along with a number of topic-related essays, articles and poems. I did not rewrite my doctoral thesis for this publication, as my style has always been accessible rather than academic, and I trust greatly in the intelligence of my audience. So it was more a matter of deciding what to include, and putting it into order, than any new writing or research.
And yes! I think I have finally exorcised Rapunzel …
Last year saw the publication of The Beast’s Garden, a take on “Beauty and the Beast” set in Nazi Germany. What did you feel that you could accomplish by choosing that particular setting for the novel? Continue reading →