To register for updates from S. J. Parris, simply fill in the form below and hit subscribe.

* indicates required

Permission to contact via:

S. J. Parris & Stephanie Merritt will use the information you provide on this form to contact you via email newsletters. Please confirm you acknowledge this by checking the box above.

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. By registering, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use MailChimp as our marketing automation platform. By clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provide will be transferred to MailChimp for processing in accordance with their Privacy Policy and Terms.

S. J. Parris and Stephanie Merritt

Review < Back

The Snow Queen - Michael Cunningham's poetic meditation on life and death

Sunday 11th May 2014


The Snow Queen is one of the strangest of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales. It unfolds in a dream-like sequence of scenes; its themes are innocence and experience, mortality, love and the quest for understanding. The figure of the Snow Queen has inspired various imitations, from CS Lewis's White Witch to Disney's Frozen, and now Pulitzer-winner Michael Cunningham's sixth novel, which makes the homage explicit in its title and epigraph.

But Cunningham's novel is nothing so obvious as a modern-day retelling. Instead, he recreates the original's episodic nature, full of echoes and allusions, on his own familiar ground: a group of cultured, middle-aged New Yorkers trying to make sense of their lives in the face of an overwhelmingly pessimistic prognosis, on both the personal and political scale. The novel begins in 2004, as the US teeters on the brink of a second Bush term. For Cunningham's characters – gay, bohemian, liberal – this would be devastating, were they not already facing the more immediate tragedy of terminal cancer...


This site uses cookies to store temporary imformation whilst you are using the site - this makes the site quicker to use.
These cookies contain no personal information and the data that they do contain are not shared with anyone, or used outside of this site.

More information