New Tananarive Due book klaxon!!
Okay, some of these stories have already been published elsewhere, but any new work from Due is cause for celebration.
Due has broken this work into sections; Wishes, The Gracetown Stories, The Nayima Stories, and Future Shock. The Wishes section contains my favorite stories; tales with a hint of the supernatural, racial injustice, and mystery.
You may have encountered the titular story, The Wishing Pool, on Levar Burton’s fantastic podcast. A woman returns to her family cabin to visit her dying father, and is reminded of an inexplicable childhood experience that may be the key to saving him.
Haint at the Window is a fantastic story about a “haunted” bookstore. The tragic ending seems fixed from the beginning, but that doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking.
Incident at Bear Creek Lodge is astounding, and unravels in such an intriguing way. A boy goes to visit his grandmother, a strict, aging actress who is very hesitant to share details of her oeuvre. There were some genuinely haunting images in this story.
The Gracetown Stories all happen in the same geographical location. One highlight of this section is the story Suppertime, about a girl, her bobcat friend, and a truly terrifying wood. It is this story that most displays Due’s knack for writing about bizarre things in a beautiful, poetic voice. Caretaker, about a baby surviving on his own in tragic circumstances, is strangely endearing; the baby’s views on the world made me smile.
The stories in the last two sections take more of a sci-fi turn, with stories about a comedy show at the end of the world (One Day Only), a dangerous smuggled package (Ghost Ship), and the potential dangers in visiting the supermarket (Shopping Day). All these tales are incredibly well-written, and made me think of Octavia E. Butler on more than one occasion.
If you’ve never read any Due, this is an excellent place to start. She is such an exciting writer, and an important voice in the horror community (her contributions to Shudder’s 101 Scariest Movie Moments of All Time were wonderful). Can you tell I’m a fan? Just order the dang book already.
The Wishing Pool and Other Stories is released on April 18th, 2023. You can pre-order directly from the publisher right here!
HUGE thanks to Akashic for the ARC.