THE PAPER GARDEN is a debut story collection of darkly humorous, gothic, speculative and feminist tales that will remind readers of Carmen Maria Machado and Samantha Schweblin. From the answers on a patient intake from a woman awaiting treatment to reimagined fairy tales or myths about troubled couples, these inventive stories are an introduction to a startlingly original literary voice.
Caitlin Vance is the author of the poetry book Think of the World as a Mirror Maze (Stubborn Mule Press, 2019) and the chapbook The Little Cloud (dancing girl press, 2018). Her stories and poems have appeared in Tin House, The Southern Review, The Rupture, Washington Square Review, and others.
"Vance's stories, at their best, are immersive and gripping." -Publishers Weekly
"Vance's stellar debut is a beautiful original offering. These stories find power in their strangeness, in their unwillingness to be easily reduced. There is blood and there is also tenderness and healing, this is a special work."
-Nana Kwama Adjei-Brenyah, author of Friday Black
"I loved Caitlin Vance's debut collection of stories and fractured fairy tales for its sensibility, which is simultaneously strange, angry, funny, tender, and wisely (and wryly) perceptive. Her characters (so often abandoned by parents or struggling with unreliable partners or the mentally ill) are compelling in their survival strategies. Without being Pollyanna-or slipping too wholly into the ever-present darkness of the world-they come out on top simply by making it to the end of their own remarkable stories."
-Debra Spark, author of The Pretty Girl
"These haunting and hilarious tales expose the fissures, absurdities, and inconsistencies in the stories we're told and the stories we tell ourselves. Whether the subject is an old parable, the haunted home of a troubled couple, the digressive answers penned into an intake form by a woman anxiously awaiting treatment, Vance's strange and often brutal worlds are signed with human, horror, and beauty."
-Jessica Alexander, author of Dear Enemy