Thin Places


By Kay Chronister

cover image of Thin Places

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"Grim but effervescent." - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Kay Chronister's remarkable debut collection of modern horror tales, Thin Places, echoes with the ghosts of Shirley Jackson and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, while forging its own unique gothic sensibility. Here there be monsters! And witches! These are tales of monstrous mothers and dark desires. Love, grief, death; and the exquisite pain and joy of life. With transcendent prose, Chronister chronicles the lives of powerful women and children; wicked witches and demons. These are the traumatic ghosts we all carry, and Chronister knows what it means to be human and humane. Powerful and hypnotic, these are tales you won't forget, from a vibrant new voice.

Chronister's eerie debut collection toggles between reality and mythical, chilling otherworlds. Multifaceted female characters, from the nefarious to the desperate, make up the dark subjects of these horror stories. Themes of infertility, grief, and motherhood pervade "The Fifth Gable," in which a household of witches craft babies out of inhuman materials only for the children to die at birth. "White Throat Holler" features a precocious and fearless preacher's daughter who hunts demons to stop them from claiming her town's mothers and children. In "Russula's Wake" (not for those who are disturbed by the suggestion of animal cruelty), a young widow tries to save her youngest daughter from sharing the curse of her older children, who must feast on animal flesh in order to continue appearing as normal children. Grim but effervescent, Chronister's economical prose packs a powerful punch (" 'Are you dead?' Martha laughed, spat out of a bloodied mouth: 'I wish. I wish I was.' "). These modern gothics are as enticing as they are frightening.
Kay Chronister is a writer living in Tucson, Arizona. She was the winner of the 2015 Dell Magazine Award, and her fiction has since appeared in Clarkesworld, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, Black Static, The Dark and elsewhere. Her first collection of short stories, Thin Places, is out now from Undertow Publications.

In her non-spare time, Kay is currently a PhD candidate in Literature at the University of Arizona. Her research focuses on romance, the Gothic, folklore, and women's writing.

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Thin Places