On October 27, exactly 150 years after Lewis Carroll first published Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Gregory Maguire’s After Alice was released. This time, however, our trip through Wonderland isn’t with Alice, but with her friend, Ada, who fell down the rabbit-hole shortly after Alice did. I must admit, I became very excited when I heard about Maguire’s new novel – I have fond memories of reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as a child, and this seems like such a fun update on the story. According to his Facebook page, Maguire is incredibly excited about this story, too. He says “I’ve been pregnant with AFTER ALICE for far more than nine months–it feels more like about 50 years, as I first read the book when I was about 10.”
And he is even so kind as to give readers a snippet from the book – a scene with the Mad Hatter (Chapter 18):
“Child, why are you looking for Alice??”
“Because she is lost,” said Ada.
“She did not look lost to me,” said the Hare. “All the while she was here, she was as solid a little janissary as you’d care to see. Every time I looked over at her, there she was. With that alarming forehead. You could hardly miss her. It was like having Gibraltar to tea.”
“Did she say where she was going?” asked Ada. “She has a tendency to wander about, you see. Someone will be worrying about her.”
“No doubt,” said the Hare. “I can’t say I noticed where she went, Hatter, did you? We were deep in conversation when she left.”
“We were talking about where she might go if she ever got up from the chair,” said the Hatter. “Then, we looked up, she was gone. So we never found out.”
Doesn’t that sound like fun?
Gregory Maguire is amazing at taking a tale we remember from our childhood; reworking and breathing new life into them to create wonderful, elaborate tales for adults. Take Wicked, for example. Maguire took the children’s story of The Wizard of Oz and retold it for adults, from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West. He expanded on Baum’s Oz, giving life to it’s culture and politics, as well as giving it a complex plot and great character development. He is an amazingly imaginative author. As much as I loved his book Wicked, I loved the Broadway play by the same name even more.
Some of Maguire’s other tales include: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister; Lost; Mirror Mirror; Son of a Witch; and Egg & Spoon. Maguire even writes for children, with such tales as Three Rotten Eggs; Leaping Beauty; and Six Haunted Hairdos.
Maguire’s stories, plus a cup of tea, sound like the perfect choice for the cold winter nights ahead of us.