Folklore and fairy tales can sometimes be inextricably bound up with religion. In the Grimms’ own collection of fairy tales, the Devil turns up and so do angels. ‘The Peasant in Heaven’ as well as ‘The Devil and his Grandmother’ were included alongside more famous tales such as ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Rumpelstiltskin’.

With the current appetite for mythological retellings undiminished, we wanted to talk to Ariel Kaplan about her novel, The Pomegranate Gate which is described as a Jewish fairy tale.

Mentioned in this episode:

  • Leaves from the Garden of Eden by Howard Schwartz
  • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
  • Among the Thorns by Veronica Schanoes
  • The Golem and the Djinni and The Hidden Palace by Helen Wecker
  • The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish
  • The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Reena Rossner
  • The City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros
  • The Sins on Their Bones by Laura R. Samotin

Ariel Kaplan grew up outside Washington, D.C., and spent most of her childhood reading fairy tales and mythology before settling on a deep love for Jewish folklore.

She began studying the history of medieval Spain and the Convivencia while working on a Monroe Scholar project at the College of William & Mary, where she graduated with a degree in History and Religious Studies. She is the author of several books for younger readers. The Pomegranate Gate is her first fantasy novel.