Like her last novel, Gretel and the Dark, Once Upon a Time in Paris cleverly combines a fairy-tale element with magic realism: in this case, an account of events in the life of Charles Perrault. Set in Paris in 1695, intertwining historical fact with multiple layers of fiction, Once Upon a Time in Paris invites readers to consider the possibility that the Tales of Mother Goose were not written by Charles Perrault (nor by his son, Pierre Darmancourt, as originally claimed), but by a reclusive figure almost entirely overlooked by history. The novel is set at that point where the tradition of oral story-telling is fast being absorbed by the written tale, and our mysterious recluse is caught between the two practices. Once Upon a Time in Paris offers a dazzling new insight into the connection between the ogre of folklore and fairy-tale and the post-Enlightenment feminist struggle.
‘Twists, turns, knots and kinks…’ No shortage of those in this deliciously smart, mischievous and engrossing novel. Not a goose feather in sight – like Perrault’s own fairy tales, Granville’s novel has been written with a swan’s quill. I read it in a sitting.’ Professor Richard Marggraf Turley
‘Real world and fairy-tale blend and interpenetrate until the boundaries between fantasy and reality blur and meld. The relations between fact and fiction, actual and imaginary realities, are continually brought into question in this subtle and always engaging narrative.’ Jon Elsby
Gretel and the Dark, Eliza Granville’s Holocaust novel, was published to great critical acclaim first by Hamish Hamilton, then by Penguin. CentreHouse Press is outstandingly pleased to have her next novel, Once Upon a Time in Paris, a dazzling new insight into the connection between the ogre of folklore and fairytale and the post-Enlightenment feminist struggle.