By Gregory Maguire
(William Morrow, Hardcover, 9780061913013, 112pp.)
Publication Date: November 2009
Every year, NPR asks a writer to compose an original story with a Christmas theme. In 2008, Gregory Maguire reinvented the Hans Christian Andersen classic "The Little Match Girl" for a new time and new audiences.
When it was first translated from Danish and published in England in the mid-nineteenth century, audiences likely interpreted the Little Match Girl′s dying visions of lights and a grandmother in heaven as metaphors of religious salvation. Maguire′s new piece, entitled "Matchless," reilluminates Andersen′s classic, using his storytelling magic to rekindle Andersen′s original intentions, and to suggest transcendence, the permanence of spirit, and the continuity that links the living and the dead.
Gregory Maguire is the bestselling author of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister; Lost; Mirror, Mirror; and the Wicked Years series, including Wicked, Son of a Witch, and A Lion Among Men. Wicked, now a beloved classic, is the basis for the blockbuster Tony Award-winning Broadway musical of the same name. Maguire has lectured on art, literature, and culture both at home and abroad. He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.
“The little match girl’s story is now getting its due thanks to novelist Gregory Maguire of ‘Wicked’ fame…. Matchless glows with aching beauty.”
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“Maguire’s story has the weight and solidity of a treasured folk tale, something to be handed down and retold.”
-Ellen Trachtenberg, author of The Best Children’s Literature: A Parent’s Guide
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