Kelly Barnhill, author of Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories &
The Girl Who Drank the Moon
Acclaimed as “a fantasist on the order of Neil Gaiman” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune), Kelly Barnhill is a writer who defies easy classification. Her bestselling novel for young readers, The Girl Who Drank the Moon, won the 2017 Newbery Medal and was called “impossible to put down...exciting and layered,” by the New York Times.
Barnhill has also written many stories for adult readers, and her singular voice and narrative powers are on full display in Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories, which gathers nine short works of fiction that explore bold and changeable visions of love, yearning, ignorance, enlightenment, belief, and hope—refracted through the original lens of this highly imaginative teller of tales.
Barnhill’s stories draw their power from their author’s trademark startling metaphors and unforeseeable twists: A widow defies her community and claims an unsuitable creature as her soul mate. A soldier in wartime wrestles with his divided sexuality in a series of love letters to a faraway wife he mostly loves. The poetry of a dead boy refuses to relinquish its power over the girl who once loved him. A witch is plagued by the deadly repercussions of a spell. A man’s new wife may owe her existence to his taxidermy skills. The young women in the title story seek their empowerment through rebellion and imagination.
With bold, reality-bending invention underscored by richly illuminated themes of love, death, jealousy, and hope, the stories in Dreadful Young Ladies cement Barnhill’s place as one of the wittiest, most vital, and compelling voices in contemporary literature.
“Haunting and beautifully told . . . Each story is written in intensely poetic language that can exult or disturb, sometimes within the same sentence, and evokes a dreamlike, enchanted mood that lingers in the reader’s mind. These tales are made to be reread and savored.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Barnhill dazzles in her short story collection for adults . . . a well-crafted short story collection featuring elements of magic realism . . . Fantasy readers—especially fans of Neil Gaiman or even Kelly Link—will appreciate this spellbinding collection.”
Visit Kelly's Website
Read an excerpt from the book