Subterranean Press proudly presents a major new collection by one of the brightest stars in the literary firmament. Catherynne M. Valente, the New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and other acclaimed novels, now brings readers a treasure trove of stories and poems in The Bread We Eat in Dreams.
In the Locus Award-winning novelette 'White Lines on a Green Field,' an old story plays out against a high school backdrop as Coyote is quarterback and king for a season. A girl named Mallow embarks on an adventure of memorable and magical politicks in 'The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland--For a Little While.' The award-winning, tour de force novella 'Silently and Very Fast' is an ancient epic set in a far-flung future, the intimate autobiography of an evolving A.I. And in the title story, the history of a New England town and that of an outcast demon are irrevocably linked.
The twenty-six pieces collected here explore an extraordinary breadth of styles and genres, as Valente presents readers with something fresh and evocative on every page. From noir to Native American myth, from folklore to the final frontier, each tale showcases Valente's eloquence and originality.
Valente, who has recently focused on work for younger readers (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making), brings an adult sensibility to this collection of 20 stories and six poems, even those that feature adolescents who merge with the mythic. Coyote leads a nondescript high school to a once-in-a-lifetime championship ("White Lines on a Green Field"). One New England town has a tutelary demon ("The Bread We Eat in Dreams") while another looks for a ritual virgin ("The Blueberry Queen of Wiscasset"). Valente mashes up fact and fable to produce both surrealism ("The Wolves of Brooklyn") and humor ("Twenty-Five Facts About Santa Claus"), but what she does best is reveal the hearts of young folks, whether they're learning to face the realities of a vampire plague ("In the Future When All's Well") or the social horrors of a postapocalyptic America fighting an alternate WWII under President Joe McCarthy ("Fade to White"). Jacket and interior illustrations by Kathleen Jennings add nicely to the off-kilter feeling of Valente's challenging work.