- Gabby Womack
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman
As a kid, I really liked the usual ancient mythologies of Egypt and Greece. Now, I’m diving into those of the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Polynesia. When I saw this book, I felt immediately drawn to it. A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is a book of 16 retellings of asian myths and legends edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman.
I chose this as the first book of the Read Your Own Adventure Readathon for Team Rogue (TikTok) as the book with multiple authors. Let me just say, I did not want to put it down! I listened to it and read this paperback and finished it within a day. The stories are all so different and span so many different countries and cultures such as Gujarati, Hmong, Filipino, Korean, and so many more. After each retelling, the authors include the story it was based on and what their inspiration or thoughts were when writing the retelling. This insight was so fascinating.
Some of my favorite stories were "Olivia’s Table" by Alyssa Wong (based on the Hungry Ghost Festival of Chinese tradition) and "The Smile" by Aisha Saeed (based on the South Asian Legend of Anarkali).
I highly recommend this book to everyone!
Content Warnings: Death of parent, Grief, Abandonment, Misogyny, Violence