Cover art by Jessie Slipchinsky
Honorable Mention, 2019 North Street Book Prize
A young woman sleeps, alone but for her daughter, who dreams of using her hair to escape confinement.
In the midst of a fight for survival, a tree meets its match.
A mermaid falls in love with a prince made of stone.
Parents, hungry for their own children, call upon the Pied Piper.
Drawing from fairy tales, mythology, and the Bible, the eleven stories in this volume mix fantasy, experimental fiction, and horror, challenging the reader to explore new versions of some of literature’s most familiar tales. In Lentils in Black Rice, marrying a prince might not always bring happiness, wolves and girls can be each other’s saviors, and the worst demons might be sprung from our own minds.
From the North Street Book Prize's review of Lentils in Black Rice: Myths and Fairy Tales:
"Molly Lazer's collection Lentils in Black Rice is fairy tale retelling at its absolute best. Each of the eleven short stories in this slim volume is psychologically layered and written in a style that is satisfying on both lyric and narrative levels. The best stories here are "mash-ups" in which the writer melds two myths or fairy tales in creative and strangely satisfying ways. Imagine the Pied Piper appearing in the bedroom of Snow White's wicked stepmother! Think of "The Giving Tree" as a character in the myth of Apollo and Daphne. Jendi's favorite was a reinterpretation of Bluebeard that earns its happy ending without romanticizing a villain."
Stories in this volume include...
Lentils in Black Rice
Ru and Wolf
Galatea in Love
At the Feast *
The Juniper Tree: A Love Story ^
Luna e Talia
* Unpublished elsewhere
^ Takes place in Colandaria