These two novellas by the groundbreaking, fearless, and immeasurably influential Robert Coover are dirty, funny and brilliant. In Briar Rose a sleeping beauty is trapped in an enchantment for a hundred years, dreaming of stories in which someone like her wakes up disappointed, or becomes a mother, or is stripped and defiled. And, as she dreams, outside, failed princes die and hang their remains on the thorns of a briar hedge. In Spanking the Maid a maid and her master are each committed to their own hard service: she, attempting to perform her simple duties without error; he, supplying punishment by rod, belt, hairbrush, whip, cane and slipper when she inevitably fails. These tales of desire are Coover at his most darkly playful.
Robert Coover is the author of twenty-some books of fiction and plays, his most recent being Noir and A Child Again. He has been nominated for the National Book Award and awarded numerous prizes and fellowships, including the William Faulkner Award, the Rea Lifetime Achievement Award for the Short Story, and a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship. His plays have been produced in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, London, and elsewhere. At Brown University, he teaches "Cave Writing" (a writing workshop in immersive virtual reality), and other experimental electronic writing and mixed media workshops, and directs the International Writers Project, a freedom-to-write program.