Teaching Notes for Suburban Folktales:
Use in the classroom to discuss: folktales; literary lineages; the formation and organization of a story collection; genre hybridization; bodies as material objects; depictions of pregnancy; depictions of illness; contemporary dystopias; political critique; social conversations about gender, orientation, and marriage; doppelgangers; dolls; hauntings; stolen experiences; animal personae; characters who are unrealistic/surreal yet believable/knowable; uncanny characters in everyday environments; place studies; the suburbs; "America"; gender (roles); apples.
Pairs well with Daddy Issues, Prehistoric, Surviving in Drought, Mother Tongues.
Suburban Folktales by Josh Russell
In Josh Russell’s Suburban Folktales, the humdrum ennui of housewives and suburbanites is enfolded an old logic, a folk logic. Princesses home birth babies in their sleep, passers-by home birth diminutive duplicates on the sidewalk, and pregnant queens keep company with neoliberal birds. Kings text their daughters. Everyone already has cancer. Everybody has a complaint. But who reigns over the suburbs? Who will repair the storm damage? Who will purchase dough enough to make a man? Formed from the lineage of Italo Calvino’s Italian Folktales, Russell’s stories suggest that even quotidian cares are subject to the strange and wondrous.