Review of The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories

Stiefvater curiosities Review of The Curiosities:  A Collection of StoriesThe Curiosities: A Collection of Stories
by Tessa Gratton, Maggie Stiefvater, and Brenna Yovanoff
High School    Carolrhoda Lab    296 pp.
10/12    978-0-7613-7527-2    $17.95
e-book ed.    978-1-4677-0007-8    $12.95

These experimental, unedited short stories showcase the many faces of horror — goth, faerie, ghostly, grotesque, lyrical, vengeful, and nasty-cool. Some clusters of tales are responses to a subject prompt like “King Arthur” or “puddles”; others are one-offs.  Creatures such as vampires, dragons, and zombies are joined by original creations such  as butterflies in temporary human form. The stories all tend toward the traditional  structure of a surprise ending. The pieces were first published online by the three authors  as an exercise in creativity and criticism, and the presentation here is innovative,  incorporating critique comments, hand-written marginalia describing the  writer’s process, doodles, short essays, and diagrams. The stories themselves are strong,  but the apparatus can get in the way; the self-congratulatory tone of the comments wears  thin, and some of the process notes (“I suck at inventing new slang”) add little to the  reader’s understanding or pleasure.

From the September/October 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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About Sarah Ellis

Vancouver writer and critic Sarah Ellis is on the faculty of The Vermont College of Fine Arts.


  1. [...] men nu vill jag definitivt få med mig något av Gratton och Yovanoff också! Och även om The Horn Book tyckte bättre om novellerna än metatexten så är jag antagligen tillräckligt skadad av mitt mangaläsande för att tycka att alla [...]

  2. [...] Horn Book Magazine review of The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories [...]

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