Apple and Knife
Brow Books, $27.99 pb, 208 pp, 9781925704006
There is an observation in the titular story of Indonesian writer Intan Paramaditha’s first collection to be published in English, which can be read as the thematic spine of the book: ‘Sometimes it seemed like there was nothing new to talk about. It was the same old story, repeated over and over, all stitched together.’ This notion can be applied quite literally to the first piece in the collection, ‘The Blind Woman Without a Toe’, a feminist revisionist retelling of Cinderella that treads well-trodden ground. This is a story – told from one stepsister’s viewpoint – that readers of revisionist fairy tales have encountered many times before. It is a rather safe choice to open with such a familiar narrative.