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Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister.

Gay Author Gregory Maguire wins raves with his intriguing be be taking with his intriguing new take on the Cinderella story

"I seem to be stuck writing stories in which shoes figure prominently," says Gregory Maguire. "In my last book it was ruby slippers. This time it's a glass slipper. I'm not sure what this says about me."

Maguire is less doubtful about what critics and readers are saying about him. His first novel, 1995's Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, kicked off his career with rave reviews and a captivated cult following. His latest, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (ReganBooks, $24), which revisits the Cinderella story with several queer twists, has been greeted with similar enthusiasm.

Twisting popular fairy stories has earned Maguire a big gay following. "Gay men learn early how to deal with being overlooked in certain situations," Maguire says. "In the new book the idea of the ugly stepsister being ignored is a perspective that gay people respond to."

Maguire didn't set out to tell a story that appealed specifically to gays. "I wanted to write about what makes things beautiful," he says. "I discovered that sometimes things are beautiful simply because they're permanent, like a diamond, and other times it's because they're fleeting, like a child on his way to school on an October morning. People, both gay and straight, learn to prize the other kind of beauty, like being spectacularly good-looking. My story is about how that beauty can be a kind of curse."

Maguire, who recently completed an East Coast reading tour, is looking forward to the day when he can read fairy stories to his newly adopted son, Luke. "Right now he's not much interested in stories," Maguire says. "He's 2 years old, and he's obsessed with trucks and trains. Maybe I should forget about shoes and write him a book about moving vehicles."

Pela is the Arizona arts correspondent for National Public Radio.

To find out more about Gregory Maguire and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, visit
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Article Details
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Author:Pela, Robrt L.
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 7, 1999
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