review: the princess saves herself in this one

The Princess Saves Herself in this One (Women are Some Kind of Magic, #1)The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved the interplay of fairy tale elements and female growth in this magical poetic journey. I think some of the readers maybe didn’t make it all through–even things that are seemingly clichéd seem meant to be so as this piece offers a complicated perspective on the female’s role in the world. Sections on themes such as falling in love are meant to be clichéd, I think, because accepting the heteropatriarchy is itself something of a cliché.

I am especially excited to bring this to future students as a text that well demonstrates how we can bring the everyday into our writing—and how the mundane itself can be something magical. I particularly love love loved “what are you/going to do with your/english degree?”—it reminded me of Ruth Forman’s “I Will Speak Genius to Myself” as a piece about how much is spoken in our silences.

Fabulous debut! I’m so thrilled to only have a few months left before the next in this series is released.

View all my reviews

Sample Syllabus- Narrative in the Golden Age of Video Games

Week One: Intro to Narrative Studies


Week Two: Narrative and Video Games


Week Three: Video Game Analysis


Week Four: Visual Novels


Week Five: World Building


Week Six: Player Agency


Week Seven: Perspective


Week Eight: Book to Video Game Adaptations


Week Nine: Integrating Virtual/Reality


Week Ten: Can Video Games Be Literature?

From Femme Fatale to Final Girl: Feminist Theory and the Horror Genre

Please offer any insights or suggestions–I definitely need to reread some of these works 😐 there may be far better film examples to use too… especially since Get Out isn’t even screening yet >.<

From Femme Fatale to Final Girl: Feminist Theory and the Horror Genre

Amanda Martin Sandino, PhC, MFA



Office hours and contact info…

Grade breakdown and assignments…


Required Texts:

  • The Dread of Difference: Gender and the Horror Film. Ed. Barry Keith Grant. 2nd ISBN-10: 0292772459


Course Schedule:

Week One: Intro to Feminist Film Theory

  • Film: Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)
  • Readings:
    • Hollinger, Karen, “What is Feminist Film Studies?”

 Week Two: The Oppositional Gaze: Whose Horror is This?

  • Film: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
  • Readings:
    • hooks, bell, “The Oppositional Gaze: Black Female Spectators”
    • Williams, Linda, “When the Woman Looks” in Grant’s The Dread of Difference

 Week Three: The Madonna-Whore Dynamic and the Final Girl

 Week Four: The Monstrous Feminine

Week Five: Birthing the Devil: Mystical and Monstrous Pregnancies

  • Film: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
  • Readings:
    • Feminist Frequency, “#5: The Mystical Pregnancy (Tropes vs. Women)”;
    • Creed, Barbara, “Woman as Monstrous Womb: The Brood
    • Fischer, Lucy, “Birth Traumas: Parturition and Horror in Rosemary’s Baby,” in Grant’s The Dread of Difference

Week Six: Bad Mamas

Week Seven: Transphobia and Monstrous Gender

  • Film: The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  • Readings:
    • Benshoff, Harry M., “The Monster and the Homosexual,” in Grant’s The Dread of Difference
    • Stahl, Lynne, “Assuming Identities: Gender, Sexuality, and Performativity in The Silence of the Lambs

Week Eight: The First to Die: Race and Victimhood

 Week Nine: Mad Women: Disability, Sex, and the Horror Genre

  • Film: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962)
  • Readings:
    • Sutton, Travis, “Avenging the Body: Disability in the Horror Film”
    • Brooks, Jodi, “Fascination and the Grotesque: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”

Week Ten: Reflections: So, Whose Horror is This Anyway?


For the next few weeks, I’ll be trying to post one syllabus a week to try and really make some of my course ideas or angles on current/popular courses more concrete. I’m excited to receive some feedback on these ideas, so please post texts, concepts, and other ideas that you feel will contribute.

Some of my current course ideas include:

  • Digital Story Telling: Blurring the Line Between Game and Book
  • Intertextuality 101: Conversations Between Materials
  • From Femme Fatale to Final Girl: Feminist Theory and the Horror Genre
  • Rethinking Social Movements: Erasure and Narratives of Resistance

I will start with these and then try to think about how I might expand my teaching ideas for other popular courses. Wish me luck!

Ommetaphobia—Fear of Eyes in Otsuichi’s Black Fairy Tale


Otsuichi’s first published novel begins with a fairy tale of the classic variety, a horrifying fable consistent with the Brothers Grimms’ grimmest tales, resplendent with gore, good intentions gone awry, and a cautionary dénouement.

In this short story/prologue, a talking raven befriends a young, blind girl. Because she is unable to see him, the girl assumes that the raven is human, a misunderstanding that the bird relies upon. Feeling sorry for her condition, the raven begins collecting eyes for the girl, pecking them from various people in the unfortunate village. When the girl places the eyes in her empty sockets, she is able to vividly dream the memories of those to whom they originally belonged, allowing her to temporarily see all that they have seen.

As the villagers become increasingly wary of birds, the raven becomes desperate for new eyes, and thus visions, with which to please his friend, eventually coming to steal the eye of a corpse. When the young girl puts the eye in her socket, however, she begins screaming as she reliving the torture which led to the first owner’s demise. Unable to withstand her horror, the girl dies, and, broken hearted, so too does the raven perish, lying beside her so that her parents come in upon the corpses of the two strange friends intertwined.

This story, however, is probably the lightest part of the book. (In some accounts, this short story is given as the book’s entire contents—such descriptions are misleading as there is actually an entire novel that follows!)

In Otsuichi’s (Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse, Goth) distinctive vision of the macabre, he weaves the story of the fairy tale’s writer, a man with the strange ability to causing strong experiences of pleasure in his victims when enacting violence upon them, with that of a young woman who has recently lost her memory following a traumatic accident in which she loses her own eye.

After receiving an eye transplant, Nami, the story’s heroine, begins to witness the memory’s of the eye’s previous owner, Kazuya, much like the young girl in the fairy tale. However, after seeing another young woman imprisoned after seemingly having her arms and legs surgically removed by the fairy tale writer, Nami makes it her mission to save her. In this manner, Nami literally follows in the footsteps that led to Kazuya’s demise.

Creepy, gruesome, and unpredictable with Otsuichi’s standard narrative twist, Black Fairy Tale offers a Lovecraftian entry to the author’s oeuvre with a novel that simultaneously asks the true nature of kindness, the manner in which one’s identity shifts over time, and whether or not fate exists in our muddled world.