Red Hen Press (August 10th, 2021)
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WINNER OF THE 2019 RED HEN NOVELLA AWARD
Environmental catastrophe has driven four people inside the dark throat of a cave: Sky, a child coming of age; Tie, pregnant and grieving; Mark, a young man poised to assume primacy; and Teller, an elder, holder of stories. As the devastating heat of summer grows, so does the poison in Teller’s injured leg and the danger of Tie’s imminent labor, food and water dwindling while the future becomes increasingly dependent on the words Sky gleans from the dead, stories pieced together from recycled knowledge, fragmented histories, and half-buried creation myths. From the Caves presents the past, present, and future in tandem, reshaping ancient and modern ideas of death and motherhood, grief and hope, endings and beginnings.
“As parched as J. G. Ballard’s The Burning World, From the Caves is about persistence in the face of collapse and disaster, the roles we fall into in relation to one another, and how we rise to meet new roles when necessity demands. An oddly hopeful yet quietly brutal book about living past the end of the world.”
—Brian Evenson, author of The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell
“From the Caves is a striking, suspenseful novella about calamity, transformation, and the stories we tell to keep ourselves alive. Thea Prieto’s haunting vision resonates evocatively with our own present and future on an imperiled Earth.”
—Leni Zumas, author of Red Clocks