Letters to Annie: A Grandmother’s Dreams of Fairy Tale Princesses, Princes, & Happily Ever After. FriesenPress, 2022.
“As a grandparent of six grandchildren whose ages are ten and under, I have often thought about how, other than reading the great fairy tales and fantasy stories, I might develop and deepen their appreciation for these stories. We should be grateful to Monika Hilder for having written Letters to Annie. These fictitious but oh so true letters are filled with wisdom about the moral and spiritual lessons children and adults can learn from the stories we love.”
Vigen Guroian, author of Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child’s Moral Imagination
“It’s a love letter written for all of us [. . .] We learn what’s essential, what matters, what is lasting—and all in a breezy read.”
Carolyn Curtis, co-editor of Women and C. S. Lewis: What His Life and Literature Reveal for Today’s Culture
“An impressive imaginative work that I highly recommend.”
Rolland Hein, Emeritus Professor of English, Wheaton College
“[. . .] readers will undoubtedly find just what they need to hear.”
Elizabeth Baird Hardy, author of Milton, Spenser, and The Chronicles of Narnia: Literary Sources for the C. S. Lewis Novels
“[. . .] a well-told inspirational coming-of-age story [. . .].”
Colin Duriez is an author of books on C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Dorothy L. Sayers, and others, focusing on themes of fantasy, biography, and history
“I needed to read this book. Readers from 1 to 100 will be captivated!”
Crystal Hurd, C. S. Lewis scholar and book review editor for Sehnsucht: The C. S. Lewis Journal
“Letters to Annie is a kind of imaginative tonic.”
Laura N. Van Dyke, Inklings scholar, co-editor of The Inklings and Culture: A Harvest of Scholarship from the Inklings Institute of Canada
“With equal parts grace, charm, and insight, Hilder draws her readers into—and incites us towards having too! —a truly meaningful life.”
Matthew and Joy Steem, Radix Magazine
. . . There is a wise and generous, gracious and kindly way that Monika weaves together the perennial wisdom of multiple fairy tales, the layered life lessons packed into such tales, and the careful knitting together of Biblical insights and fairy tales in this must-read of a book. . . . There is . . . no flinching from the hard questions of sadness, suffering, and the tragic on our all too human journey. Letters to Annie does cover many of the disappointments, betrayals, and confusions of the faith and life journey and the dangers such challenges pose to the aspiring (or not so aspiring) princesses and princes—many discerning insights can be gleaned, when read wisely and well, from fairy tales—Monika certainly asks of her readers much deeper and layered reads of such classic tales, tales sadly so domesticated and sanitized by the Disney industry.
Ron Dart, Clarion: Journal of Spirituality and Justice
The Inklings and Culture: A Harvest of Scholarship from the Inklings Institute of Canada. Co-edited with Sara Pearson and Laura N. Van Dyke. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020.
“The Inklings and Culture has so much to commend it that it is hard to know where to start my commendation of it. […] It is no exaggeration to say that this book is a small library in one compact package. The book is a stunning achievement.”
Leland Ryken, Emeritus Professor of English, Wheaton College
“Readers of this book will gain much more than literary interpretation, for here are essays that show how pertinent the insights of these writers are for so much of contemporary life.”
Malcolm Guite, Girton College, Cambridge
“This richly insightful volume […] amply demonstrates the continuing, and increasing, relevance of the Inklings for the twenty-first century.”
Holly Ordway, Fellow of Faith and Culture, Word on Fire Institute
“This authoritative volume is essential reading for all intent upon discovering much about the Inklings and what shaped them, a topic that is too rarely explored.”
Colin Duriez, Author of The Oxford Inklings: Lewis, Tolkien and Their Circle
“Much like Bilbo in Rivendell discovering a delightful collection of things he liked best, the intriguing, insightful essays in The Inklings and Culture delight in their depth and breadth, offering readers a rich feast of food for thought.”
Andrew Lazo, independent C. S. Lewis speaker and scholar, preparing for priesthood in the Episcopal Church.
Surprised by the Feminine: A Rereading of C.S. Lewis and Gender, in the Studies in Twentieth-Century British Literature series. New York: Peter Lang, 2013.
“Hilder connects Lewis’s theology with his views on gender in a way previously unforeseen, and in the process sheds new light not only on Lewis and gender but on Lewis the theologian….. thoroughness of scholarship marked by a comprehensive and intelligent use of secondary sources coupled with a close reading of texts that exemplifies insight, care and understanding that yields honest, generous yet critical engagement of both Lewis and opposing positions.”
Christopher W. Mitchell, Director, Marion E. Wade Center, Wheaton College
“Monika B. Hilder’s carefully reasoned treatment of C.S. Lewis and women is the book for which the scholarly world has been waiting. It towers above other writing on the subject by virtue of the thoroughness of its scholarship, the breadth of context into which the question of Lewis and gender is placed, and the superior abundance of close reading of Lewis texts.”
Leland Ryken, Professor Emeritus, Wheaton College
“In Monika B. Hilder’s Surprised by the Feminine: A Rereading of C.S. Lewis and Gender we find a thoughtful, nuanced, scholarly, and penetrating exploration of the increasingly popular discussion of Lewis’s understanding of gender. Surprised by the Feminine is a major new contribution to Lewis”
Don W. King, Professor of English, Montreat College
“Hilder offers a fourth approach…. Can her approach be dismissed? This reviewer thinks not. Arguments about Lewis’s attitudes about the sexes and the genders will be more complicated in the future, for Hilder has defined the key values being discussed.”
Joe R. Christopher, Professor Emeritus, Tarleton State University, Texas
The Gender Dance: Ironic Subversion in C.S. Lewis’s Cosmic Trilogy, in the Studies in Twentieth-Century British Literature series. New York: Peter Lang, 2013.
“From time to time we find ourselves fortunate enough to wade through the flotsam and jetsam of works about C.S. Lewis and to stumble upon treasure boxes: works of clear and careful scholarship and new insights…. it would be a mistake to see the relevance of Hilder’s work merely in terms of gender discourse…. I finished the book feeling as though I should have seen it before on my own. It is like a guide who leads me through familiar woods yet on a previously undiscovered trail … and I arrive at some secret and beautiful glen (rather than spending the day wandering lost). The guide is so confident and sure-footed that I wonder how I had never seen the path before. But I haven’t, and now here I am at the glen.”
Matthew T. Dickerson, Middlebury College
“In her careful reading of Lewis and his critics, Monika B. Hilder provides a nuanced and balanced approach, showing how often Lewis subverted the usual stereotypes, giving us a new understanding of Lewis’s fiction and a new way to think about gender—a viable Third Way.”
David C. Downing, Planets in Peril
“At long last, a serious study of the Cosmic Trilogy’s central theme, and one which is sufficiently thorough and nuanced to bring out the radical implications of Lewis’s view on gender. Carefully, thoughtfully, insightfully, Hilder moves beyond Pavlovian superficiality of so many previous ventures into this field. An important and valuable contribution.”
Michael Ward, Planet Narnia
The Feminine Ethos in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, in the Studies in Twentieth-Century British Literature series. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2012.
“This engaging analysis will prove an invaluable tool to any Lewis scholar, from those who have long studied the Chronicles to those who have just peeped into the wardrobe…. Hilder does not shrink back from the more problematic or questionable passages…. she invites us to re-think what being feminist means…. Come higher up and further in to look beyond conventional views of heroism and courage…. We may never see Narnia, her heroes, or her creator, in quite the same way.”
Elizabeth Baird Hardy, Milton, Spenser and The Chronicles of Narnia: Literary Sources for the C.S. Lewis Novels
“Presented in a clear and engaging literary style, Monika B. Hilder’s exhaustive study not only exposes the shortcomings of all sexist readings of Lewis’s works, but it also convincingly demonstrates how his theological feminism evenhandedly attributes the same range of characteristics to both genders. With this book, Hilder is making an essential contribution to Lewis studies.”
Rolland Hein, Professor Emeritus of English, Wheaton College
“Prepare to be surprised at how good this book is—and how important. Monika B. Hilder shows how Lewis’s thinking about everything—literature, culture, and theology—is present in his thinking about gender.”
Wayne Martindale, Professor Emeritus of English, Wheaton College