NATIONAL BESTSELLER NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE “The Brothers Grimm meet Black Mirror meets Alice in Wonderland. . . . In seven remixed fairy tales, Link delivers wit and dreamlike intrigue.”—Time
Finalist for the Kirkus Prize “Thought-provoking and wonderfully told . . . so seamlessly entwines the real with the surreal that the stories threaten to slip into reality, resonating long after reading.”—BuzzFeed
A new collection from one of today’s finest short story writers, MacArthur “Genius Grant” fellow Kelly Link, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Get in Trouble—featuring illustrations by award-winning artist Shaun Tan
A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Public Library, Shondaland, Slate, The Globe and Mail, Electric Lit, Tordotcom, Polygon, Chicago Public Library, Kirkus Reviews
Finding seeds of inspiration in the stories of the Brothers Grimm, seventeenth-century French lore, and Scottish ballads, Kelly Link spins classic fairy tales into utterly original stories of seekers—characters on the hunt for love, connection, revenge, or their own sense of purpose.
In “The White Cat’s Divorce,” an aging billionaire sends his three sons on a series of absurd goose chases to decide which child will become his heir. In “The Girl Who Did Not Know Fear,” a professor with a delicate health condition becomes stranded for days in an airport hotel after a conference, desperate to get home to her wife and young daughter, and in acute danger of being late for an appointment that cannot be missed. In “Skinder’s Veil,” a young man agrees to take over a remote house-sitting gig for a friend. But what should be a chance to focus on his long-avoided dissertation instead becomes a wildly unexpected journey, as the house seems to be a portal for otherworldly travelers—or perhaps a door into his own mysterious psyche.
Twisting and turning in astonishing ways, expertly blending realism and the speculative, witty, empathetic, and never predictable—these stories remind us once again of why Kelly Link is incomparable in the realm of short fiction.