From the Caves

Red Hen Press (August, 2021)

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FromtheCavesCVR300dpiRGBaerio_1024x1024WINNER OF THE 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.

Praise for From the Caves:

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

“As parched as J. G. Ballard’s The Burning WorldFrom 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 shows us our past and our future in the same breath. Guiding us on a compelling exploration of the endurance of artefact, the tradition of storytelling, and the impermanence of the human body, Prieto is a writer to be reckoned with.”

—Lily Brooks-Dalton, author of Good Morning, Midnight

[From the Caves] is both a devastating cautionary tale and a terrible and beautiful testimony for the power of stories to transcend through impossible grief.”

—Doug Lawson, author of Bigfoots in Paradise

“Prieto describes the unforgiving elements of nature with beautiful prose… this is a gut punch of a dystopian novel.”

Publishers Weekly

“Prieto’s debut volume is shadowed by fire and darkness, but within that veiling there yet exists hope, a certain hope… A highly recommended first book.”

The Kenyon Review

“Prieto paints scenes with visceral, creative phrasing that is at once innovative and yet still somehow familiar… Her writing strips language down to an ancestral level that simply pairs words that we have forgotten belong together. It is some of the most palpable writing I have encountered.”


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