This essay considers the responses of Jewish writers to the antisemitic fairy tale “The Jew in the Thornbush,” as well as to readings that locate antisemitism in “Rumpelstiltskin,” by analyzing four contemporary stories by Jewish writers Naomi Novik, Veronica Schanoes, and Jane Yolen. Jewish writers are able to destabilize the dominant paradigm of the Grimms’ fairy tales by demonstrating its cultural specificity. I argue that the tension that is thereby generated enacts the ambiguity characteristic of American Jewish identities, using the impetus of exclusion to fashion a response that casts the genre itself in a new light.

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