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Chuck Wicks’ ‘Stealing Cinderella’ Inspires Professor to Write a Book

Chuck Wicks
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

If you’ve ever heard Chuck Wicks‘ song ‘Stealing Cinderella,’ you know what a tearjerker it is. The song tells the story of a man asking his girlfriend’s father for permission to marry his daughter — basically, stealing Cinderella. And while anyone with a heart would be moved by this emotional song, Joseph Gottschall, an English professor at Washington & Jefferson College, was so moved by ‘Stealing Cinderella’ that he was inspired to write a whole book from the idea.

When Gotschall first heard Wicks’ hit song, he was driving on a beautiful autumn day. He was just flipping through radio stations, but when he heard a few notes of ‘Stealing Cinderella,’ he paused to listen. Before long, the father of two daughters was forced to pull over to the side of the road to recover from his emotions.

After reflecting on that moment, Mr. Gottschall began to examine how deeply storytelling can affect our lives. Before long, he started to pen a book titled The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human. Gottschall’s book was released on April 10.

Although it’s only been available for a few weeks, the storytelling book has already been reviewed by Oprah Winfrey in ‘O’ magazine. It was also touched on in the Wall Street Journal and featured in a live interview with Brian Lehrer on NPR affiliate WNYC.

According to the Post Gazette, a review in the Boston Globe calls the work an “insightful yet breezily accessible exploration of the power of storytelling and its ability to shape our lives . . . [that is] packed with anecdotes and entertaining examples from pop culture.”

Clearly, the ‘Stealing Cinderella’ singer really knows how to spin a yarn — and how to tell stories that impact his listeners.

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