Teaching Notes for Mother Tongues:
Use in the classroom to discuss: the fairy tale as a genre of contemporary relevance; genre play and formation; furtive performances of the personal; dolls; hauntings; stolen experiences; motherhood; parenthood; childhood; sibling dynamics; animal personae; food as a literary object; pretense; imitation; writing about writing; lyrical writing; spells; Edenic landscapes; uncanny characters in uncanny environments; earnest explorations of the feminine; gender (roles); apples.
Pairs well with 26 Abductions, Surviving in Drought, Suburban Folktales (forthcoming).
Mother Tongues by Theodora Bishop
Winner of the Cupboard’s 2015 Contest
33 pages. Perfect-bound. Illustrated by Lea Greenwood.
There is something sick and sweet at the edges of a fairy tale told in a new way—something that asks about the substance of an oily encounter. Does a feather cut or comfort? Is an apple an antidote or a poison? What grows from the gunk? What remains when the last of a life washes away? Winner of the Cupboard Pamphlet’s Fifth Ever Contest, Theodora Bishop's Mother Tongues offers satisfying almost-answers, opening each question like a curiosity cabinet to show a strange thing. Look there, Mother Tongues says. Look there at the windows—the new stories are gathering.