Kathleen Ragan

Kathleen Ragan is the author of Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters, anthologized folktales with female protagonists from around the world, and Outfoxing Fear: Folktales from Around the World. She has lived in or traveled to fifty countries and currently lives in Australia.

"Kathleen Ragan is a contemporary Scheherazade. " —Jack Zipes


Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales from Around the World

One hundred great folk tales and fairy tales from all over the world about strong, smart, brave heroines.A definitive sourcebook of folktales and fairytales and the first of its kind to feature a variety of multicultural heroines.

Dismayed by the predominance of male protagonists in her daughters' books, Kathleen Ragan set out to collect the stories of our forgotten heroines: courageous mothers, clever young girls, and warrior women who save villages from monsters, rule wisely over kingdoms, and outwit judges, kings, and tigers. Gathered from around the world, from regions as diverse as sub-Saharan Africa and Western Europe, from North and South American Indian cultures and New World settlers, from Asia and the Middle East, these 100 folktales celebrate strong female heroines. In "The Mirror of Matsuyama," we see the power of a mother's love overcome even the silence imposed by death. In "Moremi and the Egunguns," a fearless girl faces messengers from the land of the dead.

Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters is for all women who are searching to define who they are, to redefine the world and shape their collective sensibility. It is for our daughters and our sons, so that they can learn to value all kinds of courage, courage in battle and the courage of love. It is for all of us to help build a more just vision of woman. Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters breaks new ground by reexamining our notions about heroism. This book will appeal to parents who want to foster positive role models for their children. It is an invaluable resource of multicultural heroines for any school library.

(W.W. Norton & Company, May 2000)

Outfoxing Fear: Folktales From Around The World

A multicultural collection of hopeful, utopian folktales for all ages that tackle our most elemental human scourge: fear.

Humans of all eras and cultures have lived with fear: of becoming jaguar prey, of being besieged by Vikings, or of nuclear holocaust. For millennia, huddled around campfires and in cottages, we have created folktales to help us transform this fear into action, into solutions, into hope. Inspired by the residual fear and need for stories of resilience following September 11th, Kathleen Ragan, editor of the anthology Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters, has scoured the globe and collected these 64 tales that respond to fear in its wide variety of incarnations. From the old Japanese woman who tricks the tengu monster to the bluebird that uses the Chinook wind to teach her mother compassion, Outfoxing Fear is a collection of positive, even utopian, folktales arranged thematically around topics such as the nature of fear and courage, the importance of laughter, and the need for hope.

(W. W. Norton & Company, December 2006)